I have seen many threads, students asking advice/opinion on weather they should take the RPN or RN program.
I just wanted to share my experience and opinion on this subject as a RPN. I completed the 2 year full-time Diploma in Southwest Ontario, but if I could go back I would have definitely opted for the BScN program instead. I would like to share why.
When I decided on this route I never expected that my nursing ambitions and skills would supersede the opportunities that are available for RPN's in this part of Ontario. They are AGES behind when it comes to utilization of the RPN to their full scope of practice.
At the time I couldn't attend a 4-year full-time program because of the demands of my home life. Plus I thought, especially as I went through the program, that I would have a variety of choices as to what areas of nursing I would work in once I gained more experience. I have since learned that this is not the case, at least not in my area.
There are still many RN's (and general public) who do not understand the skills and education that RPN have received in nursing school and many facilities who are still not allowing RPNs to work to their full scope. RPN's are an autonomous profession who work under the EXACT same standards of nursing as RN's. There is no hierarchal system; it is simply based on experience and skill set. Which, most NEW GRAD RN's, can never have the skills set, experience and knowledge I do after this many years of actually working on busy acute floors as a nurse. And of course management opportunities are usually only available to RN's.
Because of this I have since decided to enroll in a part-time bridging program through Ryerson University to obtain my RN. I have also found that the pay difference is very unfair, and should also be based on experience and skill set. For example why should I get paid $25/hr verses $35/hr to start the exact same IV and push the exact same meds! I also have the same patient load as the RN for less money, I find this very unfair.
So if I had to advice anyone who is debating what route to take, I would say if you plan to work in this area (Ontario), just go for your BScN. Had I done this out of the gate, I would have been done by now and would not have to suffer through so much frustration and dissatisfaction with nursing.
I do not want to take any credit away from the RN (especially since I'm going to become one
) I give credit where credit is due, and if I received the respect I deserve as an RPN than I would have been happy keeping my designation.
So if you can and have the opportunity to do a full-time 4 year program, than MY ADVICE ... DO IT!! And what ever you choose remember we are ALL still NURSES!!!
Btw, RPN is the same as LPN in the rest of Canada ... And the RPN/LPN scope of practice in the USA, is not anything like the training in Canada.