Registered nurses (RN) provide direct care to patients, while licensed practical nurses (LPN) typically provide assistance to doctors or registered nurses.
Licensure as a registered nurse is generally sought after graduation from a 4-year undergraduate nursing program and successful completion of the NCLEX-RN. Licensed practical nurses typically may need to complete a 12-14 month post-high school program and the NCLEX-PN. Licensure as a RN is generally a prerequisite both for graduate nursing programs and for advanced practice or specialty certification.
Sponsored Online Nursing Programs
Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.
- Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
- Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study
Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.
- Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
- Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
- Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice
Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing
- The Wegmans School of Nursing is ranked among the top 100 nursing schools nationally, and is No. 6 in New York state1
- Part-time and accelerated tracks available
- Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP
Earn your MSN online from USC’s Top-Ranked School of Social Work.
- Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
- Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
- Choose from part-time and full-time study options
1 U.S. News & World Report, 2022 Best Nursing Schools: Master’s. Ranked in 2021.