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East Central University is now offering a pathway for licensed LPNs to become an RN by earning a Bachelor of Science through the School of Nursing.

“This is a way LPNs can get credit for their licensure through the School of Nursing,” said Darcy Duncan, director of the School of Nursing, “so this is not a new concentration,”

The pathway is possible through agreements between five technology centers and ECU. Those five technology centers are Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne, Southern Technology Center in Ardmore, Pontotoc Technology Center in Ada, Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee, and Wes Watkins Technology Center in Wetumka.

An LPN, or licensed practical nurse, provides basic patient care. The license is usually obtained through a technology center.

To become a registered nurse, or an RN, students can obtain an associate’s degree at a state college, or a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university, such as ECU. Duncan said the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is now being required to become a charge nurse or earn promotions.

LPNs that earned their license at one of these five technology centers can get credit for certain classes required at ECU’s Nursing program.

“Students still have to meet criteria to be admitted to the University and the Nursing program, but can get credit for courses they’ve already taken at the technology centers,” Duncan said.  An example would be the student could get credit for Intro to Professional Nursing, Foundations in Nursing and Physical Assessment if they already have the LPN license.

“Each student will be evaluated as they come in from the technology centers,” Duncan said.

Students with an LPN from these technology centers listed that wish to obtain a BSN at ECU must apply and be admitted to ECU, and apply to the Nursing Program. Once the student receives the acceptance letter, Duncan said they would receive the next steps.

“This is an exciting opportunity for ECU and the various technology centers,” Duncan said.

Currently, the application cycle for the Spring 2024 semester is open and applications being accepted until Sept. 1. The Fall 2024 applications will open Oct. 1.

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