Why RN vs LPN (Pay)?

  1. I have a question, I just found out that whan I graduate from school IF I stay with my current employer I will make $20.50 a hour as a new grad LPN. The RNs where I work make $22.50 an hour. So my question is, why spend the extra time and money for an RN for only $2.00 more an hour? I'm really not wanting to start anything here, but I am curious to know why not just get your LPN?
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   BeachNurse
    Just my opinion: you get your RN if you have plans on moving to bigger and better things. There are many more and varied career opportunities for RN's as well. No, the pay might NOT be all that much more, but if you desire more out your career as a nurse, or feel that you may in the future, I feel that RN would be the way to go. That was my thinking when I was deciding between the two several years ago.

    [ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: BeachNurse ]
  4. by   Stargazer
    What BeachNurse said. The hospital where I used to work did not hire LPNs for clinical positions at all. The company I am currently working for does not hire LPNs. Having your RN just gives you more options.
  5. by   Q.
    I agree with the above posters. Even down to the additional 2.50/hour - that is still 2.50/hr more for what some LPNs say is the same work as RNs. The main thing is the wider variety of opportunities - and not just management. Certain clinical positions and certain specialities only hire RNs.
  6. by   P_RN
    What they all said. Besides it's $100 more a week and $5200 more a year!

    Check to see what the top of the pay scales for each is. I think you will be surprised.
  7. by   Cindy_A
    That's exactly why I'll be going back to school this fall to get my RN. Now as an LPN, I just don't have the opportunities that I would if I had an RN. It's not the money, it's the opportunities.
  8. by   sandigapeachlpn
    i have to agree with the opportunity thing. it's a long story but i started out with intentions of obtaining my rn, i had to get my GED after my sophmore year due to my home situation re: single mom; and had to go to work at 16yo. this has kept me out of the RN programs, because i cannot do algebra. i have an AS in marketing, and graduated with honors from college and lpn program. i am a charge nurse where i currently work because there are no rn's applying we are currently down 4.5 rn's. it is extremely frustrating knowing i can charge as an lpn, only to be told " you can't do that because you are not a rn". It is also equally frustrating to have the knowledge base in our facility (been there three years), and have prn rn's working under me that make 10.00 more an hour because we are so desperate. 10.00 dollars more an hour and they can't figure out to change a colostomy. i am not attempting to be demeaning. yes, you are much better off being an rn, especially if you have the motivation to advance, as i do.
  9. by   BeBeSweet
    I to had to get my GED many moons ago.But I am now in last semester bridge to ADN. The college I went to specialized in mathmateclly challanged females!(ME) Then support classes were great, and once you get in school, you will relize that you are not alone.Non traditional students are a growing population,many of us were algebra illiterate. The help is out there. Don't be like me and wait around for years because of a fear of failing math.
  10. by   NursePooh
    originally posted by future lpn sheryl
    i have a question, i just found out that whan i graduate from school if i stay with my current employer i will make $20.50 a hour as a new grad lpn. the rns where i work make $22.50 an hour. so my question is, why spend the extra time and money for an rn for only $2.00 more an hour? i'm really not wanting to start anything here, but i am curious to know why not just get your lpn?
    i originally intended to go into an lpn program, but missed the application deadline and ended up in the prerequisite program for rns. later on i was glad, because eventually i would have wanted to go for my rn, and if i'd been an lpn first i'd have had to take more boards! another thing to consider is that you may end up feeling truly clinically constricted as an lpn. i worked with an amazing young lpn who i trusted to do anything an rn could do, but the nurse practice act forbade her to do many things. she was bored silly on our tele floor and itching to go to the er or the ccu, neither of which would take her, because she was an lpn. just because the pay levels are so close together where you are now does not mean that will always be the case, or that you will always be living there. and when you get to be a burned out old broad like me, and want to leave the bedside, you will have more opportunities if you go for your rn.
  11. by   Kateryne
    Originally posted by Future LPN Sheryl
    I have a question, I just found out that whan I graduate from school IF I stay with my current employer I will make $20.50 a hour as a new grad LPN. The RNs where I work make $22.50 an hour. So my question is, why spend the extra time and money for an RN for only $2.00 more an hour? I'm really not wanting to start anything here, but I am curious to know why not just get your LPN?

    I agree with everything others said. There are just not the vast amount of choices available to lpn's that are available for rn's.
    I am an lpn and have worked with some great rn's that respected my knowledge and experience. But, no everyone does. Recently Iworked at one of the largest hospitals in Pennsylvania on a medical telemetry unit. In the period of 3 months you have no idea how many times I was referred to as NOT being a nurse. What does the n stand for in lpn? They would make comments like "the nurses, oh and the lpn's". Or RN staff would complain that they only had three nurses on the unit at that time, while there was 4 lpn's working as well. We didn't count. While I was not given nurse aide duties I was treated like a glorified aide.
    I feel that I deserve more respect than that. I am planning on finishing for my rn. I want more opportunities than I currently have and the pay isn't part of it at all. I AM a nurse, and want to be treated like one. I have to say I worked at another large hospital that did NOT have that attitude about lpn's. The rn's there were respectful and had confidence in my abilities.
    The only excuse I could have for those at the other hospital was that they had little experience working with lpn's and had no idea what we were capable of as a whole. (there are of course bad lpn's as well as bad rn's, I have worked with both)
    Due to the shortage of nurses in general that large hospital had brought lpn's in for the first time in many years, so we were the first they had worked with. (many were very young rn's)
    Still, I got comments everyday like, "I don't know what to do with an lpn" or even, "I have worked with lpn's and was not impressed"(later this same nurse became one of my best allies)
    So please, its not a money thing.
  12. by   Teshiee
    That is true but in the long run when they decide to downsize LPN you will have a job as a RN. I made decent money when I was a LVN 19.17 an hour. I was hired at 19.50 my first RN job but I was in the unit I was working and I knew I had an option to go perdiem in a year or work registry. I have been a Rn for two years and now I make 29.00 at my regular job and 32-38 working registry so in the long run you will fair better.
  13. by   Brownms46
    Future LPN Sheryl,

    Take it from a die-hard, LPNLVN...who is getting her degree in another area (not nursing). I have found many opportunities as an LPN/LVN...but for every opportunity I found as LPN/LVN, there are probably 100's of opportunities I could have had as an RN. Don't let the money fool ya! I make more than a whole lot of RNs do...without working OT! BUT.......I also could have my choice of assignments ....if I was an RN....but I don't. Go for it all...and don't settle for less!

    I'm in an area that has very few limits on what I can do at the bed-side...although I can't be a charge nurse...I don't wish to be one either. But there have been times when being an RN would have allowed me to apply for a positon I was interested in....but couldn't apply for. If your going to be a nurse...be an RN....the opportunities are almost unlimited. Listen to the voice of reason...they do make sense...
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Jun 9, '02
  14. by   disher
    I agree that the opportunities and payscale are better for RNs then for LPNs. Also if the American Nurses Association determines that diploma nursing is inadequate for entry to practice and a bachelor of science is required (like the Canadian Nurses Association has)you will have greater difficulty finding a school that will let you bridge from LPN to BScN if you do decide you want to upgrade.

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