Quote from TheCommuter
This depends on the state in which you're practicing. I practiced in Texas, which has a wide scope of practice. If you're practicing in California, New York or certain Midwestern states, then yes, the LPN scope of practice is going to be restrictive.
I earned good money during my four years as an LVN. 2010 was my last year of working as an LVN and my final wage was $27.04 hourly at a nursing home in a major city in Texas. Some of my coworkers earned $29.00 per hour for working the night shift. This adds up to $55k to $60k per year, which is excellent money for someone with a one-year diploma or certificate. Many people with high-priced BAs do not earn this kind of money, especially if they chose a major such as humanities, philosophy or art history.
During my four years as an LVN I lived in a newer construction house, had two newer cars in the garage, traveled by plane several time yearly, paid my bills comfortably and maintained a five-figure savings account, all as a single person without a partner. It all depends on your geographic region and how you manage your money.
There's no such thing as an 'RN degree.' It's either an associate of science in nursing (ASN), or the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or the master of science in nursing (MSN), or the increasingly rare diploma in nursing.
Although the RN license generally opens the doors to more opportunities, I would not be so quick to sneeze on the benefits of being an LPN.
AMEN to that!!!!! My last year as an LPN ended June 2010 when I passed the NCLEX RN. My pay at the time was $28/hr plus the differentials! The only reason I returned for the RN is because economic changes which resulted in a lot of people losing their jobs and health insurance yielded a decreased census in the hospital where I worked, which then meant frequent cancellations of my shifts, not because I was an LPN but because I was a float LPN. The fulltime LPNs maintained their positions and hours even though they, as well as RNs had their share of cancellations, too. But as practically every nurse knows, agency and floaters are the first to be cancelled. Even with my then-24-years experience, other hospitals AND nursing homes were going through similar situations, so that made it next to impossible to find an additional position.
Nursing homes canceling too? Yes, because the newly unemployed were taking their loved ones out of the facilities and bringing them back home, which caused their census to drop as well. It was a shocker to me but it wasn't necessarily all about the money for them. Some of those residents were there ONLY because families had to work and were unavailable to care for them. (The debate on that is a whole other issue).
To the OP, just so you know, I made a great living as an LPN. It's not what you make moreso as what you do with it. I can tell you that even with the increase in pay as an RN, I took more cruises as an LPN and with the exception of not having to have someone verify my assessments, not much else has changed. Someone of the higher-degree holders still look down on the lesser degrees. Those attitudes will probably always exist and has NOTHING to do with the degree but rather with the person holding the degree.
Would I encourage you to get the RN license instead? Yes, because you've already shown how you need more after having received a bachelors degree, thereby requiring more education
and adding to your debt.
I just don't personally feel you will be content as an LPN for long. If you must go to nursing school, I would recommend doing it once where you will have more options for a longer period of time without having to return to the classroom for a while.