I agree with much of the advice you've been given. It's all great advice, but what some doesn't take into account is your own personal situation. Only YOU know what that is!
If you have the means (like time and ability to do without an extra year of income) then by all means go for your RN first. Why wouldn't you? If, however, it is not feasible to do all the prereqs and wait to get in a program and then finish it, then don't shut the door on the LPN option. I remember what it was like facing school with a hubby and little ones. It can be done, though!
I just finished my LVN and can say with all honesty that I'm thilled. Like you, my dream is L&D, so that's why I'm finishing prereqs and will persue a bridge program. I was in a hurry to start bringing in an income so I chose this route.
In California, we have a large scope which includes IVs (starting them and hanging fluids, once certified) and hanging blood. Any LPN program can tell you the scope for your state, as well as the board of nursing.
No one signs anything off for me. But again, this could differ in another state.
I have heard of hospitals that don't use LPNs, but have no witnessed such a facility here. In CA, the shortage is such that I was just offered $21 to pass meds in a conv. I may do it per diem, but I work acute right now for a little less and will probably stay for the experience. Of course I could make more with my RN (which I hope to attain someday), but for an 18 month investment, how can I complain!? As a supplement to hubby's salary, it takes care of the family quite nicely. So will your RN. Decisions, decisions..
I'm not trying to talk you into one or the other. Attain the highest level of education as you can afford right now. But at the same time, keep your options open and you'll find the right thing for you and your family.
Best of luck with school! Email me anytime,