I plan to work as a geriatric nurse in a ltc after I graduate. What benefits would I have if I go RN vs LPN? Would the extra costs and time invested for RN be worth it? Any Advice would be greatly appreciated.:redpinkhe
Just based on the national medians plan on $62k a year for RN vs. $39k a year for LPN... not to mention many hospitals are dumping LPNs for RNs. at the local school RN takes one extra semester vs LPN program and if you go LPN first count on 3 semesters to move up to RN.
Also, since you plan to go into geriatrics you should know about the new 5-star rating for nursing homes.
Nursing homes are now scored with a star rating at the federal level much like a hotel receives stars for good service. (By the way, I'm not in favor of this 5-star system, but the government never got around to calling for my opinion on the whole thing. We are just stuck with it).
Anyways, one of the catagories for star rating is our RN coverage. I think in the long run, this will mean that more NH's will be looking to hire more RN's. With any luck, this may eventually result in an even better pay scale for RN LTC nurses as many RN's would rather go to the hospital. Supply and demand! Go for your RN if you have the time and $$.
Disclaimer to all LPN's - I was an LPN for 19 years and have never been convinced that I am really any better nurse just because I have RN behind my name now. But it sure is nice to be paid better! My comments are not meant to start an RN vs LPN war
Question for the OP: what do you see yourself doing in a LTC as a nurse?
Some LTC facilities utilize both RNs and LPN/LVNs on the floor; you'd be giving meds, doing treatments, and maybe doing assessments if you're an RN. Others use RNs primarily as care coordinators, managers, MDS nurses and other roles that have more paperwork and less hands-on direct care. Check out the facilities in your area---do RNs and LPN/LVNs have much the same roles or are they assigned differently?
Also check out your state nurse practice act, available online on most BON websites. What duties does your state allow LPN/LVNs to do independently? What are done only under the supervision of an RN? Some states may be more flexible in permitting LPN/LVNs a wider scope of practice, especially in LTC.
If you were talking about going into hospital work, I'd be with the other posters and urge you to go for your RN. But if your heart is with LTC you may be wise to get your LPN/LVN first, see how you like the role, and then move into an RN position should you want different responsibilities or more career options.
If you currently work as a CNA in LTC, look at the differences (again, if any) in the RNs and LPNs. And if you don't work as a CNA, I strongly urge you to get that training as you will get first hand experience with direct care and you may find it is or is not what you wanted.
I'm with "Moogie" on this one. I also tell my CNA's that in most LTC facilities, an LPN can pretty much do everything an RN can, but without the pay or status. Except for I.V.'s or IV pushes, you can get IV certification as an LPN but still can't do IV pushes. I was an LPN for 6 years prior to getting my RN but I really needed the time as an LPN to decide how much further I wanted to go. Now, I'm in the process of pursuing a BSN/MS.