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Date of Award

Fall 12-9-2021

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Sharon Fought

Second Advisor

Gerianne Babbo

Third Advisor

M Billye Sankofa Waters



Barriers Impacting LPNs’ Academic Progression

M. Dianne Nauer

Chair of the Supervisory Committee:

Sharon Fought, Ph.D., RN

Nursing and Healthcare Leadership

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) desiring to academically progress in the profession of nursing face specific barriers as reported in the literature. LPNs are licensed nurses, but when trying to advance to registered nurse (RN) or earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), find that their experiences as nurses is not credited academically. The barriers reported by Washington State LPNs included the need to continue working, making traditional full-time class schedules a significant or extreme barrier. Cost and lack of local programs for LPN academic progression were the rated as the most significant barriers. In addition, competing with individuals with no healthcare experience for limited spaces available for academic progression by using grades from pre-requisite courses was viewed as an unfair barrier. Frustration at having to retake courses related to expiration dates, the entry requirement of expensive standardized tests, and different requirements across nursing programs were identified by LPNs as possible reasons to leave the field of nursing for other unrelated fields. The healthcare workforce is facing a potential shortage of RNs between 13.6 and 23.7 percent by 2031 (Skillman et al., 2011). This estimated shortfall makes it imperative that workforce and nursing education programs collaborate to address the barriers LPNs report as preventing their academic progression.

Included in

Nursing Commons