LPNs who continued on to RN....I have a question for you?

  1. I was just curious to see if you felt that going through the LPN first was a better choice. Do you feel that in the RN program you received as good a clinical base as when you went to the LPN? I'm sure that you were able to see things differently than some of your RN classmates that have not gone through any clinicals yet.

    I'm really contemplating the LPN program over the RN, because I feel that the amount of clinical hours will enable me to become a better RN, if I become an LPN first. I know that there are some ares that RNs have over LPNs, but the LPN program I am looking into seems to be more intensive with about 700 clinical hours over a 11 month period, versus approximately the same, but over 2 years.

    Thanks,
    Kris
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  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   baseline
    I hope this doesn't start one of those LPN/RN things..... But I'll answer cause its a good and fair question.

    I started my career as an LPN. It was a long long time ago.....1973. The reasons I went for my RN would cause strife here...so I won't detail it....(things were so different then!)...but I have not been sorry one bit for starting as an LPN. The clinical I received was wonderful. My experience in nursing helped me a great deal when I chose to go on.

    My advice is to examine the school closely and determine the success of its graduates before you make your decision. But do what you think is best for you.
  4. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by 2banurse
    i was just curious to see if you felt that going through the lpn first was a better choice.

    for me, i am glad i chose to do so. i feel the reasoning will be individualized for doing so as well.


    do you feel that in the rn program you received as good a clinical base as when you went to the lpn? i'm sure that you were able to see things differently than some of your rn classmates that have not gone through any clinicals yet.


    i have just finished my 1st semester but as opposed to lpn school, the rn program is focusing more on critical thinking, assessing, prioritizing, the reason why, not just doing.

    so, it will be different in some ways and the same in others.



    i'm really contemplating the lpn program over the rn, because i feel that the amount of clinical hours will enable me to become a better rn, if i become an lpn first. i know that there are some ares that rns have over lpns, but the lpn program i am looking into seems to be more intensive with about 700 clinical hours over a 11 month period, versus approximately the same, but over 2 years.

    here again, it is not just the clinical hours but the thought process changes in rn school. i know how to do, as an lpn, ivs, catheters, ng insertion, give injections, etc., it is not only knowing how to do these procedures and skill but pull all the information together to individualize care for your patient.


    i am speaking entirely for myself on this next comment. it was not easy this semester ( i am not talking about making the grades, i pull 4 b's and an a) . i had been out of lpn school 12 years, i was used to a "set" mind frame and find that i have to remind myself to think critical and not having to get my rn conterpart to do what i can not do. i am not talking about seeing my patient in distress, for example, and not knowing something is wrong, or what i could do has an lpn.

    and yes, there are some of us, lpns who have good skills, thinking ability, knows some whys, but there are somethings even with this, depeneing where you live, we just can't do or know the reasonings for do so.

    it is a whole new "ball game" yet being a na and an lpn help me to know i want to further my career as an rn.



    thanks,


    i say, do what you feel is best for you. just remember, lpns are nurses too but there are differences between an rn that no matter how many clinical hours you obtain as an lpn or rn, you will learn as you do and begin to "pull" what you know and what you will learn in rn school together.

    all the best to you!
    kris
    i hope i explained this so as not to confuse you nor "step on anyones toes", this is just what i have observed in rn school thus far and i am an lpn.
  5. by   l.rae
    Originally posted by baseline
    I hope this doesn't start one of those LPN/RN things..... But I'll answer cause its a good and fair question.

    I started my career as an LPN. It was a long long time ago.....1973. The reasons I went for my RN would cause strife here...so I won't detail it....(things were so different then!)...but I have not been sorry one bit for starting as an LPN. The clinical I received was wonderful. My experience in nursing helped me a great deal when I chose to go on.

    My advice is to examine the school closely and determine the success of its graduates before you make your decision. But do what you think is best for you.
    I can only echo these sentiments and add, that the new grad LPN's came out of the program eons ahead of the college RN programs as far as clinical experience and the reality of what nursing is. Now the diploma RN's came out of school with the best of all experiences IMHO because they were imersed in the clinical setting even longer that the LPN"s...I will say that the college grads did catch up, it took them about 6mo. to a year of actual work experience. When I went for my RN, the college l chose was one of the best in the nation..(so they say) however, l still theought the practical aspect of nursing was pathetically lacking...Got a lot of theory, and touchy feely psych. The positive aspect of having my LPN was that I was able to focus more on the assessment and decision making skills that truely define good nursing where as the others were stressed out over clinical skills, ie: foleys, IM's, NG's...etc...the fact is, skill expertise comes AFTER graduation, so yes, l felt l had an exceptional advantage over those students without LPN....many times i had to wait till last, (sometimes no oppertunity at all) to do skills in the clinical setting cause my instructors know l had done many times...and knowing this they would save the most challanging patients for the LPN's....and....while l was "waiting" for my turn to do the clinical skills, l could spend time with the patient, pouring over charts and labs and tests, asking pertinent questions about observations and rationales......yes, l would say l was better off as a "new grad" than the non LPN students.....that doesn't mean they do not obtain the same level of functioning as a nurse, but they do obtain it slower...............LR
  6. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by l.rae
    The positive aspect of having my LPN was that I was able to focus more on the assessment and decision making skills that truely define good nursing where as the others were stressed out over clinical skills, ie: foleys, IM's, NG's...etc...the fact is, skill expertise comes AFTER graduation, so yes, l felt l had an exceptional advantage over those students without LPN....many times i had to wait till last, (sometimes no oppertunity at all) to do skills in the clinical setting cause my instructors know l had done many times...and knowing this they would save the most challanging patients for the LPN's....and....while l was "waiting" for my turn to do the clinical skills, l could spend time with the patient, pouring over charts and labs and tests, asking pertinent questions about observations and rationales......yes, l would say l was better off as a "new grad" than the non LPN students.....that doesn't mean they do not obtain the same level of functioning as a nurse, but they do obtain it slower...............LR
    I guess this was what I was looking for. I do plan on going forward with the transitional program for LPN to RN. For me, IMO, I feel that by having such an intensive clinical training versus the RN which for the first year is 5 hours 2 x a week first semester and 7 hours 2 x a week the second, I won't feel as anxious as if I have to almost always start from scratch...
    A lot of this also comes from the thread...are RNs adequately trained? in which there seems to be some concern that the answer in many cases is no.

    Another advantage regarding for me in particular, by getting my LPN first and working some, I'll be able to get myself on track again. I'll have about a year before I'll be able to start the transitional program, but I can at least get some hands on experience.

    I appreciate your responses. Thank you!
    Kris
  7. by   CardioTrans
    I went to LPN school first......... worked about 5 or 6 yrs as an LPN then returned to RN school. The basis that I had as an LPN helped me so much in RN school. I understood the material and was able to think through signs/symptoms of a disease process...... basically to see ahead of the picture. Sometimes in RN schools depending on their length ALOT of material is given at one time to be able to move through the cirriculum leaving alot of "learn on your own" kind of things. I remember the pharmacology class that we had in RN school...... 100 chapters in 10 wks, had I not known the drugs from previous experience...... you can see what kind of trouble I would have had and the trouble that people had that went straight into the RN program had.

    It was the best decision that I made about my education and my life at the time........ and that is what you need to go on.

    Wish you all the best in whatever you decide.
  8. by   NurseDianne
    My husband and I are both currently LPN's working full-time and in RN school. We both Love being LPN's but realized that our climb up the career ladder was limited so began school. It's tough, but I honestly think already having the nursing background has helped.
  9. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    Well I was an LPN before I was an Rn and I feel it was the best decision I had made in my life. It gave me a leg up on all the others in the class and I knew there was nothing in the program I would be afraid of besides the instructors, so it made other things in the program easier for me. I had no trouble following the content of the instruction, nor did I have a problem with clinicals . It was easier for me.
    Zoe
  10. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by ITSJUSTMEZOE
    Well I was an LPN before I was an Rn and I feel it was the best decision I had made in my life. It gave me a leg up on all the others in the class and I knew there was nothing in the program I would be afraid of besides the instructors, so it made other things in the program easier for me. I had no trouble following the content of the instruction, nor did I have a problem with clinicals . It was easier for me.
    Zoe
    I think this is a major reason why I am thinking of doing LPN first and then doing transitional LPN to RN at my local community college. My major concern is that the clinical period in the RN program doesn't seem to be enough IMO. Worrying that I will forget most of what I learned in the previous session on a Friday and not going until the following wednesday. I know that my confidence will only grow if I can have a more intensive clinical period, which the LPN provides since it is every single day, 8 to 3:30.

    Kris
  11. by   Agnus
    Peronally, I found it helpful to work as an LPN first.
  12. by   sbic56
    It seems near unanimous here that LPN's believe they were better prepared for the RN program than they would have been otherwise. I have to agree. I had 13 years of clinical/critical thinking experience as an LPN; alot more than any RN program can offer. My LPN program did focus more on the clinical aspect also. I got a lot more from it than I did the RN program, but that was because I had the experience at that point, too. I often wished I could clep the RN program and take boards, as I know I could've passed them. I would not have done quite as well on them, as the RN program was a good refresher, but would have passed.
  13. by   fadingyouth
    As an LVN/LPN you acquire a great deal of hands on experience. We learn how to insert foley's, ngt's, IV's, care for peg's, and assess the total patient.
    The new RN grads, lately, appear to know the text, but have difficulty knowing the clinical aspects. More and more we see them ask for assistance. Some find themselves inserting a foley or ng for the first time. Some encounter difficulty starting an IV.
    It is not only that as aLVN you provide yourself with a good foundation, but that you can use that to teach, guide and stimulate interest in new grads.
    I too have felt that if there was a clep somewhere to become an RN I could pass it easily. After almost 36years I find that , by law, I could do less, but am asked for more. Grandfathering in LVN/LPN's based on a protocol of years, specialty and alternative option would be a way to decrease this nursing shortage.
    It worked to fill a need in the 60's and 70's, in some states.
    Guess we can all dream.
  14. by   KELLYGIRL
    I AM AN LPN 5 MONTHS AWAY FROM GRADUATING RN SCHOOL... RN SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT AS SAID ABOVE... WORDS OF ADVICE??? DO NOT...I REPEAT... DO NOT ... LET YOUR PAST EDUCATION GET TO YOUR HEAD...SUCH AS "OH, I ALREADY KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT... I WON'T HAVE TO READ OVER THAT MATERIAL". CRITICAL THINKING IS A MUST. THEY NOT ONLY WANT TO KNOW IF YOU KNOW THE MATERIAL...BUT DO YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO APPLY IT??? RN SCHOOL HAS BEEN A GOOD REFRESHER.
    GOOD LUCK....KELLY GIRL

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