LPN over RN

  1. I'm just wondering why some of you chose the LPN route rather than the RN? I've been having a hard time deciding on one 100% but leaning more towards LPN. I start as a new CNA in January and will be taking some of my pre-requisites for nursing then also...currently doing phlebotomy certification...I have some time to make a decision I think...I'm 22 though and it took me this long to choose nursing Lol...but why LPN for some of you and not RN?
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    About KayeC

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 8; Likes: 2

    13 Comments

  3. by   del28
    It often depends on what fits your needs. My sister became an LPN first because as a single mother, she needed to work. The LPN program was shorter and less demanding. She worked full time (nights) and did the program. She is now working as an LPN and making more money than her night job. She wants to keep this position for a while as LPN's often have more flexibility. RN's are often required to work 12 hour shifts, and the rotations of night and day shifts can change for many RN's, while my sister works mornings and is home when her kids get home from school. She plans to do the RN bridge in a few years, when her kids are older, and don't need a babysitter, etc.

    Although, my friend, who is a RN tells me that my sister could just make more money and have more opportunities out there...but for her it is about having more...while my sister is content that she is doing OK for now, and home more often to raise her kids.

    Which brings this conversation back to me...I'm kind of working this situation out as well. I am finishing my BA in psychology and planned to get masters in therapy. I am also a single mom of three boys, and I have been slowly going to school while working as a psychology technician. I love my job, and got the position the same month I started my BA...it's taken me six years and I have only a few credits remaining. But?? A couple years ago, I started having seizures. I was out of work for a while too, although I am back now. But my mind is working differently. I have to take the medicine every day, but I still have mini seizures through the night, if they raise the medicine, I can't work at all and the quality of life is well- zilch. And that big but?? Is that I just don't have the same memory or skill set. I work in a group home that also holds a clinic, so although we have a few new people every year, it is basically the same patients. And I forget their names and backgrounds. I have learned to set my day with a schedule upon arrival into work each day and using this schedule and my notes, I am fully functioning in my work- but as far as the therapy portion? One needs to remember vivid details, this means my plans are changing and I was looking into what I can do with my degree and still work in some kind of program. We often visit psych hospitals, and I see that the nurses are doing much of the hands on care, but also facilitating therapy groups. So, I really have been thinking of going into mental health nursing, but I am thinking it will be too demanding for my skill set- which can be learned and implemented, but is slower than before. I found LPN's often work in similar mental health settings, with less demands, and also I can work part time- if needed. That's really hard to find as an RN, unless you are earning much less per hour than a full time nurse- which is about equal to LPN anyways. I think this will fit my needs for now. If things improve, I can always take a bridge course for RN or even do that masters, but I need to plan for the future and worse case scenarios. (Also? My test scores have been suffering. When I started my BA, I even tested out of classes by just reading the course book first and aced the exams, so the LPN testing is less demanding and should be easier for me).

    So, that may be a different scenario than the average person, but if you have a demanding home life, or health issue, learning disability, or don't like high stress, etc. LPN may be the answer. However, if you have none of these and can handle the load? I would choose RN in a minute! (I originally wanted to be a doctor, so you can see my plans just go less- not that LPN is really less- I'm good with being an LPN...I just don't want to end up having a bunch of degrees and being a Walmart greeter the rest of my life!) Just kidding. I'd say take the practice test a few times and look at your personal goals- go the high road whenever you can! Good Luck!
  4. by   KayeC
    Thanks for the help...I appreciate it and good luck to you as well...wish you the best!
  5. by   beejay0829
    In 2014 my best friend and I decided it was time to go to nursing school. We had both been working as CNA's at the time at a skilled nursing facility. We got mixed reviews from coworkers on which path to take. LPN or RN. We did our reaserch and visited a few schools in the area. We weighed out the pros and cons to each type of program. I decided to go the LPN route. He decided to just go for the RN.

    I passed my NCLEX-PN in May of 2016 and got my first job in LTC 2 weeks later. I worked LTC for 10 months. I decided that LTC wasn't my cup of tea and wished I had just gone straight for my RN. I put my resume in indeed just to see what other options there were for me. I ended up landing a job doing pediatric home care for stable vent clients. I LOVE my job and I'm currently awaiting acceptance into an LPN-RN bridge program.

    My friend on the other hand is still at the local community college waiting for acceptance into the traditional RN program. I am not sure what his exact GPA is but I believe it's better than a 3.4. The 2 problem he is having are, 1 the volume of students trying to get into the program and 2 the changing requirements for acceptance. This spacific college has changed the requirements twice now.

    If we both stay on track we will end up graduating together since LPNs get to miss out on the first year of the RN program at this institution.

    Long story short i have been able to practice as a nurse for 19 months and making decent money and gaining experience while he is stuck waiting.

    If you can get right into an RN program that would be the road I would take. However a lot of LPN programs let you start right away without any prerequisites. These programs can be completed in 12-18 months. One downfall is they are expensive. My program was roughly $23,000.

    I am very happy that I chose to proceed with the LPN program. I am even more happy knowing there are more options out there than just LTC.

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   gingernursegirl
    I did LPN because my particular program is two semesters and had no pre-reqs so I could finish taking my pre-reqs while in the program (had physiology during the first semester and took pathophysiology over my summer break). I finish the LPN next week and got accepted directly into an LPN-RN bridge program that starts next month and is two semesters. For me, it made sense to do it this way because it's the same length (or shorter) than the local RN programs, and it allows me to work as an LPN. My LPN was extremely cheap as is the RN bridge program.
  7. by   gingernursegirl
    I will also add, I wasn't entirely sure on nursing but doing the LPN solidified that decision for me. It was an easy two semesters that at the end, if I wanted out, then I could be out. I didn't want to be locked into a 2+ year program for RN and drop out if I decided it wasn't for me and not have anything to show for it if that makes sense.
  8. by   del28
    Hello gingernursegirl, could you tell me what LPN program you are taking. I was leaning to LPN because of health issues, but also that it gives you a chance to work- but I would rather finish to become an RN, if it is possible for me. My sister is planning on the bridge program as her kids get older, as the course work is more challenging, and she doesn't have the time. I have most of the pre-reqs done, I only need a biology course and intro to nursing- as required by my community college, but I know some colleges have different requirements (I already have 6 credits of A&P, psychology, stats, comp I and II, etc) but? You seem to have found a great program- I'm very interested in a such a program and think it would be an easier transition for me...plus I'm out of grant money as I finish my BA, so cost-effective is a major plus! Thank you....
  9. by   imhorsemackerel
    I tried getting into RN programs, but no luck. All of the RN programs are quite competitive in my area. I just became an LPN this summer, and I just landed an LPN job in September. I'm also going to school for RN in January in the LPN-RN program. It's not the ideal route, but it's working for me.
  10. by   heynurse1996
    I went thru Job Corps a free program for vocational training and had everything paid for, so my LPN was free, it also is easier in my state to get into a bridge program over a straight ADN or BSN program.

    I also wanted to work my way up from the bottom, started as a CNA now I'm an LPN working on my RN, I feel it has made me a better nurse.

    I feel being an LPN has also afforded me the luxury to work part time while going to school, if I had stayed a CNA i would have had to work full time.

    It also gives me an extra year of nursing experience on my resume when I go to apply for RN jobs (by the time I get my RN I will have had 3 years of LPN experience)

    It has given me a wonderful base of nursing skills and knowledge.

    In my humble opinion everyone should have to start as a CNA and work there way up...but that's just me, I think it makes for better nurses.
  11. by   BrandonLPN
    In the vast majority of cases, one chooses LPN because it's cheaper and faster. Most do so with the intention of taking an RN course while working and making LPN wages. But once we start working as LPNs the motivation to go back to school often diminishes.

    Like heynurse, I got my LPN through a vocational program that was paid for by the government. But I believe the government has long since stopped paying for these sorts of programs, unfortunately.
  12. by   Glitternurse
    Quote from KayeC
    I'm just wondering why some of you chose the LPN route rather than the RN? I've been having a hard time deciding on one 100% but leaning more towards LPN. I start as a new CNA in January and will be taking some of my pre-requisites for nursing then also...currently doing phlebotomy certification...I have some time to make a decision I think...I'm 22 though and it took me this long to choose nursing Lol...but why LPN for some of you and not RN?
    I am in California so it's LVN for me. The reason I went the LVN route is because when I was in school the nursing program was extremely competitive, even getting into pre-reqs was difficult. I had finished my general ed and whatever pre-reqs i could get into with As and Bs, but I had to wait, literally, years for some of the pre-reqs. When and if I got those completed there was a minimum of 2-3 year waitlist for the nursing program. I finally got tired of taking PE and underwater basket weaving to hold my registration spot (your registration priority was based on how many consecutive units you had completed) and still not getting the classes I needed. I finally gave up and went to a vocational LVN program. I actually finally finished all my requirements for the RN program, but I was in a job I enjoyed. I am still an LVN and have lucked into a great job as a school nurse, working with an awesome RN in a small school district (5 elementary schools and a preschool). I have never regretted not getting my RN. I have been fortunate enough to have jobs I really enjoy.
  13. by   Cream and sugar LPN
    Quote from del28
    It often depends on what fits your needs. My sister became an LPN first because as a single mother, she needed to work. The LPN program was shorter and less demanding.
    Shorter yes, less demanding, absolutely not
    She worked full time (nights) and did the program. She is now working as an LPN and making more money than her night job. She wants to keep this position for a while as LPN's often have more flexibility. RN's are often required to work 12 hour shifts, and the rotations of night and day shifts can change for many RN's, while my sister works mornings and is home when her kids get home from school. She plans to do the RN bridge in a few years, when her kids are older, and don't need a babysitter, etc.

    Although, my friend, who is a RN tells me that my sister could just make more money and have more opportunities out there...but for her it is about having more...while my sister is content that she is doing OK for now, and home more often to raise her kids.

    Which brings this conversation back to me...I'm kind of working this situation out as well. I am finishing my BA in psychology and planned to get masters in therapy. I am also a single mom of three boys, and I have been slowly going to school while working as a psychology technician. I love my job, and got the position the same month I started my BA...it's taken me six years and I have only a few credits remaining. But?? A couple years ago, I started having seizures. I was out of work for a while too, although I am back now. But my mind is working differently. I have to take the medicine every day, but I still have mini seizures through the night, if they raise the medicine, I can't work at all and the quality of life is well- zilch. And that big but?? Is that I just don't have the same memory or skill set. I work in a group home that also holds a clinic, so although we have a few new people every year, it is basically the same patients. And I forget their names and backgrounds. I have learned to set my day with a schedule upon arrival into work each day and using this schedule and my notes, I am fully functioning in my work- but as far as the therapy portion? One needs to remember vivid details, this means my plans are changing and I was looking into what I can do with my degree and still work in some kind of program. We often visit psych hospitals, and I see that the nurses are doing much of the hands on care, but also facilitating therapy groups. So, I really have been thinking of going into mental health nursing, but I am thinking it will be too demanding for my skill set- which can be learned and implemented, but is slower than before. I found LPN's often work in similar mental health settings, with less demands, and also I can work part time- if needed. That's really hard to find as an RN, unless you are earning much less per hour than a full time nurse- which is about equal to LPN anyways. I think this will fit my needs for now. If things improve, I can always take a bridge course for RN or even do that masters, but I need to plan for the future and worse case scenarios. (Also? My test scores have been suffering. When I started my BA, I even tested out of classes by just reading the course book first and aced the exams, so the LPN testing is less demanding and should be easier for me).

    So, that may be a different scenario than the average person, but if you have a demanding home life, or health issue, learning disability, or don't like high stress, etc. LPN may be the answer. However, if you have none of these and can handle the load? I would choose RN in a minute! (I originally wanted to be a doctor, so you can see my plans just go less- not that LPN is really less- I'm good with being an LPN...I just don't want to end up having a bunch of degrees and being a Walmart greeter the rest of my life!) Just kidding. I'd say take the practice test a few times and look at your personal goals- go the high road whenever you can! Good Luck!
    HA! I needed to address this post...

    Some of your advice is not based on experience whatsoever, rather it's an inaccurate opinion on a nursing program you have never completed and a job you have never even done. Not to mention it's rather rude to imply that LPNs are really wanna be RNs that had to take this route because we have learning disabilities, needed easy testing and cannot handle the demands or the work load! Seriously? Let me educate you on what really goes down on a typical day! Tomorrow morning I will start my shift at 7am taking care of 28 patients on a busy skilled nursing and rehab unit who all need to be medicated before 9am with morning meds - 2 of which are actively dying, 3 more are on hospice, 2 are status post hip replacement, 1 has cdiff and is on isolation precautions, the new guy is confused from his UTI and is exit seeking, 1 gtube on TPN, many of them have COPD, CHF, CKD, dementia, and a history of strokes. While I casually handle this light load I have 2 care plan meetings to attend with family members and the Dr will be in to do rounds and stack the nurses station with new orders, that will need to get noted into the computer. My med pass will be stopped multiple times while I answer a multitude of questions from PT, OT, recreation, the MDS coordinator, speech therapy and the RN supervisor. The Hospice nurses pop in on their own schedule and need questions answered regarding medications and recommendations, the fax machine will be sending me labs, it's 10am and I'll have to remind myself to take a few minutes to order those needed medications, and get my treatments done, family members of dying patients will need my support along with all the other family and friends of the other patients that will have numerous questions and demands and nothing has even gone wrong yet!
    It is simply not fair for someone who is non nursing to give advice.


  14. by   Cream and sugar LPN
    I originally planned to get my ADN at a local college, I finished the prerequisites, took the teas and was put on the waitlist. I even retook A&P and had a pretty decent GPA 3.7 and still didn't make the first cut. People in school where on their 3rd time trying to get into the program. My state does a small percentage by grades and points and the rest go into a lottery. I was approaching 40 and decided to start with LPN and would bridge later. Nursing school is demanding and time consuming. I was in class 8-3:30 Monday through Friday and we had 3 one week breaks during the year. We had a min of 2 times exams a week and sometimes we had 3. Anything less than a 75 was failing, Clinicals were 3 days a week. We were only allowed 5 absences during the entire year. That alone caused the class size to drop. Others dropped during medsurg. We started with 23 and finished with 8. Besides marrying my best friend and having my 3 beautiful kids I can honestly say it was the best year of my life. I miss it but as Brandon said you start work and sometimes you don't continue. Whichever you choose, LPN or RN it will be hard work and at times stressful. But if you keep your eye on the prize you'll do just fine. LPN is a good way to go if you are not happy with your current career and need to make more money. If money is not a deciding factor right now, go for the RN. I'm going to loose all my science credits soon if I don't jump back in soon, but it's a toss up because I can work part time, spend time with family and pay the bills on my LPN salary. Good luck to you!

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