I know this is a older post back in 2011, its now 2013 haha. But here is my story...
I finished my 2 years of nursing prerequisites for the associates program in Kenai, Alaska in 2012. I applied to the local college nursing program but wasn't accepted (they only accept 12 students every year and over 50 applied). That's when I started looking into the LPN program, I applied to AVTEC and was accepted into the August 2012 program right away. I was given a 3 week notice and I had to find a sane roommate in Anchorage to live with, find a job, get all my stuff up here, start school and figure out how I was going to survive the program. It was tough, the first 6 months were 5 days a week 8 hour days which was almost impossible to work! Most of my classmates were on unemployment including myself. The last 4 months (11 months total) where 3 days a week of clinical, which was fun. I graduated in June 2013, applied to the bridge program at UAA and was accepted immediately. UAA accepts up to 12 LPN students for the bridge program and only 5 applied so we all got in. No competition!!! If you have graduated as a LPN within the last 3 years (I think its 3 years, don't quote me on this), you can skip the first 2 semesters of RN school. I only have to complete this fall and spring semesters and I will graduate as a RN May of 2014.
Benefits of becoming a LPN first:
1. LPN school is harder. I just survive a 11 month condensed accelerated program from hell. RN school is now a piece of cake! I only have class Mondays and Wednesdays. And once I start clinicals, the Monday class will drop and my schedule will be Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! OMG! So easy, I actually have time to study!
2. The experience and higher wage. Because I am working a LPN job throughout nursing school, once I graduate as a RN I will be hired much faster compared to my classmates who have no medical experience, AND at a higher pay (Employers count the number of years of nursing experience into hired wage). I only know this because I've talked to many RNs at my work who used to be a LPN and they told me they were hired onto the job at a higher pay compared to their colleagues who didn't have previous nursing experience.
3. Better appreciation for the the little people. RNs who worked as a CNA and LPN know what its like to be at that level and have a better appreciation for the whole medical team. :-)