A stupid question...

  1. This is stupid, since you'd think I would already know the difference (I am working on my pre-nursing now and applying for nursing school this weekend!)

    My intention was to become an RN, however, between getting used to school again after several years away, having a 2 year old I have to care for (no family near us and my husband always at work) I struggled this past semester, and it is unlikely I would make it into -or through- the RN program at this point in my life.

    While mulling this all over during Christmas break I realized.. maybe I should just to the Practical Nursing program.

    But, I need to know the major differences b/w the two. My adviser told me that basically RN is management and if that is something I have no urge to do, then I could very well really enjoy being an LPN more anyway.. and I could always do the bridge later if I wanted (an possibly get it paid for by my employer too)

    The thing is- all this argument over being a 'real' nurse or not bothers me. I don't want to do this and feel as though I did it for nothing, but at the same time, I don't want anything like management- I just want to care for patients!

    So where do I go? The more i think about it, the more I want to do LPN now and then, if I decide I want to, just bridge later.. ahhh! I just feel so confused.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   RNinSoCal
    It really depends on what type of nurse you want to be and what type of facility you would like to work in. The scope of practice for an LVN is different from an RN. RNs are not all in managment, in fact I am a bedside nurse and so are most of the RNs in this hospital.
    Some hospitals no longer hire LVNs for acute care. In other hospitals they use LVNs as part of a LVN/RN team to pass oral medications and do wound care. All nursing homes use LVNs.
    Decide what area of nursing you are interested in and then find out if you could work in that field as an LVN. You should pursue the program that gets you where you want to go. Best of luck.
    (LVN is what LPNs are called in California in case I am confusing you)
  4. by   linzz
    I am just going to tell you my thoughts on your issue. You may not agree. I think you should do your RN. I too am in Canada, ON, to be exact and unless you are in Toronto, few hospitals hire LPN's and this is getting worse, which is thus leaving even less opportunity for full time work at nursing homes and it is also leading to more nurse tolerance of lousy and unsafe working conditions and ratios. If I was your friend, I would say do the RN. I just did the LPN and I also have a degree and I found the LPN course not difficult but a LOT of work so if you are going to work your but off do it for your RN as the LPN program has lots of stress too. JMO.:spin:
  5. by   Cherry2
    Well, I am in Toronto-- but the real problem is my grades. I just don't know if I will get in. I just started back this week, and I am going to do all I can to bring my grades up this term (math was really horrible, and I am two marks below what I needed for chemistry) This term I have anatomy, biology and math- besides the other stuff they are making us take (3 other courses). I think I will apply for both programs anyway- but I just don't want to feel like (if I have to go with LPN) that it is a bad decision, you know?

    I just don't know how to decide, and I have no nurses to talk to other than those here, and most seem to be from the US.
  6. by   caliotter3
    You should apply to both programs and see what happens. Anticipating that your grades are not good enough to get admitted to an RN program, but that you are offered admission to an LPN program, then take what you are offered and reconsider what caused you problems with getting competitive grades. I don't know what the Canada situation is, but possibly you could do an online program for RN or the Excelsior program (I don't know if it is offered or accepted in Canada), there is a program offered in the UK that I have seen discussed here, do a search on "online" and "UK".

    The school official who stated that RNs are mgmt oriented was not entirely clear. At least in the US, that distinction is reserved for higher education level RNs. Two yr RNs primarily do bedside nrsg. BSN and MSN educated nurses are the ones who go further up the mgmt ladder.

    Like otherwise posted, you are limiting yourself at the LPN level. You should do everything to get into the RN education track. Good luck.
  7. by   caliotter3
    Look up www.celticscholar.com. This looks like a good program. At least one person who is a member of this board, is enrolled in their program. But I don't remember, whether or not one needs to already be an RN.
  8. by   JBirdAngel
    Hello,

    its not a stupid question, and i am not a nurse or an lpn or even a cna, but i am looking into thesea reas and other things, not sure what i am going to do, but i think it would be worth it to look at what your wanting to do, it does sound like LPN's are mostly hired in long term care facilities at this point, and i would think that doing the LPN and then a bridge program would cost more, though that may not be the case, but one advantage of doing the LPN possibly could be that if that is a 1 year program instead of an ADN which is likely a 2 year program, after being an LPN if you wanted to becom ea nurse you could do that online which would give you more time with your family and such.

    - jason
  9. by   Cherry2
    Okay- the way it works here (Canada) is that to be an LPN is that it is a two year diploma program.

    The RNs, like the US, have a BSN, but as a practical nurse, I would have my diploma-- is that different from the way the US does it? (I am getting that impression anyway from some of these responses) There are no 1 year programs here for nursing- it is either get your diploma and be a practical nurse (2 years) or get your degree (BSN for 4 years) and be an RN.

    I guess I am getting confused with the differences,lol.
  10. by   JBirdAngel
    Hello,

    im still not a cna/lpn/or nurse, but in my looking into this, here in the US it looks like on average LPN course is 1 year, though the one nearest me is a 2 year, or atleast was, the website now says its being revised and gives a number to call so not sure what they are doing. As far as i know most if not all LPN programs here are non-degree, so it would be a diploma or certficate or something? not sure, here you can get an associates degree (could possibly be done in 2 years) in nursing and become an RN, you can get a bachelor's here as well.

    - jason

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