RN or RPN

  1. Good Morning!!

    I am new to this board. I am not a nurse but I am seeking out my paths to becoming a nurse. A while ago I was donating blood and the RN there told me not to bother with getting a BScN because an RN and an RPN generally have the same line of work but the only difference is pay and debt.

    I figured I'd reach out to all of you ladies (and gentlemen) to see what you think. Is this true?
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  2. Visit Best8485 profile page

    About Best8485

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 2
    from CA
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    3 Comments

  3. by   Khow89
    The student debt for RN is more than the RPN but you'll make it back with the higher salary. It just depends on the areas you want to work as a nurse, some areas only hire RNs and some hire both RNs and RPNs. Also it depends on how long you want to be in school for nursing.
  4. by   wheresthecharge
    To add what has been stated...

    The pay is different between rns and rpns. rns make slightly more usually in any given equivalent position.

    The expected "complexity" that rns usually deal with in terms of their patients... they are suppose to be more unstable. However, I have seen experienced rpns deal with complex patients instead of rns.

    The program for rns is longer than rpns. However, rpns have to know a lot more in a very short period of time.

    Hope this helps.
  5. by   GBC_Student
    As someone who is an rpn and is now getting my BScN I'd say for for the BScN. RPN's do great work and you can do a lot of jobs with that diploma. But there are limitations. You'll still see job postings for jobs that an rpn would be qualified for but there is still this notion that RPN's are simply psws that can give meds. It can be frustrating to be an rpn and see your dream job posted and not be able to apply.

    The pay difference is also something to consider. I work at camh and I had a few years of experience before starting there so my pay started at a higher bracket than other RPN's. I'll hit the cap of $31.50 an hour sooner rather than later. The RNs hit their pay cap at about the 8 year mark and its about $45 an hour. Believe me when you're working with the same clients and doing the same work minus figuring the nursing assignments it can be frustrating. Money isn't everything but it is something. As an RN you can much more easily work internationally, work in just about any health care setting, more easily go into management if you want.

    If down the line you want to get a masters or become an Np you're going to want that BScN. To bridge it takes three years on top of the two years to become an RPN. Five years total.

    Both are good jobs and can be really rewarding. I just found the limitations placed on me as an rpn was problematic which is why I'm bridging. If you want to become a nurse I believe it's worth going the full four years. And do it now especially if you're younger and don't have a family to worry about. I've seen RPN's in the bridge who have kids and a job and it's a nightmare to balance everything.

    Just to give you an idea of how your wage tops out, a full time Rpn will cap at about $66,000 per year without overtime. An RN will cap at about $86,000 per year. Might not seem like a massive gap but it is a consideration. Hope this helps.

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