I read and heard too that soon (i dont know how soon...years?), they'd be mandating a DNP for every nurse practitioner. So, I would believe that RN requirements would follow to be more too? (BSN instead of ADN). But at the moment, both ADNs and BSNs qualify to sit for the NCLEX-RN. While LPNs qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN.
Magnet hospitals tend to hire BSNs for RNs if that's what you want to get in to.
Here's salary info for Gainesville, GA: Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse
RNs are trained and are responsible to assess and educate clients. These are some duties RNs can't delegate to LPNs. LPNs can't give IV medications as well. RN maintains complete accountability, responsibility, and legal liability for that patient even if it's the assistive personnel that makes an error. RNs create care plans with specific nursing interventions created to meet certain patient goals or outcomes.
LPNs are more hands-on with the clients. They do vital signs, medications, immediate care, assistance in activities of daily living, etc. Their presence is very valuable in the setting as RNs do more paperwork, delegation and evaluation of everything.
Both have different educational/training requirements as well as licensure requirements. However, both are equally important in meeting the needs of the client while in care.
Regarding school, basically, LPNs require a high school diploma and vocational school/training (one year?). RNs either go to take ADN (2 years?) or BSN (4 years?). All of these as well as fees depend hugely on the institution offering the program. Some offer accelerated programs.
Good luck! Hope this helps!