Allen College to Offer BSN Degree for LPNs

October 21, 2010

WATERLOO, Iowa—Allen College is launching a new option in its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program aimed at providing licensed practical nurses (LPNs) a pathway to become registered nurses.  The new program, approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing on September 25, will start in August 2011.  According to Dr. Nancy Kramer, Allen College vice chancellor of academic affairs, the program is one of only a few BSN mobility programs in Iowa for LPNs.  Kramer said that most LPNs who want to become registered nurses continue their education in two-year associate degree programs.  However, Kramer said, many LPNs aspire to eventually earn a BSN degree, so the new Allen College program will provide a direct pathway for LPNs to achieve this goal. 

Allen’s nursing dean, Dr. Kendra Williams-Perez, noted that the new program will have several features that should be appeal to students.  First, she said, because many LPNs must work full or part-time while continuing their education, the new program will be offered on a part-time basis.  All 47 semester hours of nursing coursework in the program can be completed in seven semesters, which includes two summer semesters.  In addition, the program will be offered on weekends and evenings to make the program more accessible to learners and to provide greater access to clinical agencies at times when these agencies are underused by other nursing programs.  Still another feature of the program provides opportunities for LPNs to test out of certain required courses by passing standardized examinations. 

Allen College’s chancellor, Dr. Jerry Durham, said that Allen College is currently planning to offer the program every two years.  Once students express an interest in the program, admission personnel will work with those students to ensure that they have completed the required general education coursework prior to starting the program.  He believes that there will be significant interest in the program among the more than 12 thousand LPNs who hold an active license in Iowa because of the program’s features.  “Many LPNs are finding that their career opportunities are limited unless they become registered nurses.  With an expected growth in the demand for nurses with BSN degrees, we believe that our new program will address a growing need in northeast Iowa,” Durham said.

Allen College is an independent, not-for-profit, specialized, co-educational institution that was  established in 1989.  Its development is traced back to the formation of the Allen Memorial Hospital Nurses Training School in 1925. Allen College offers Associate of Science in Radiography (ASR), Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Information on Allen College is available at


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