does LPN experience count while looking for first RN job?

  1. I wonder if in the world of hiring managers my experience as LPN means anything while I am looking for my first RN job.
    I worked on Med-Surg as LPN for 3 years. It is a small, rural hospital but it still counts, right? Cardiac pts., orthopedic pts., ACLS cert., floating to ER and ICU, and all other goodies. I did everything except maybe admissions and spiking bags with blood. Now, when I go through job ads, it looks like no one will talk to me unless I can show at least 1 year of RN experience . I'm not really afraid of being GN and start all over again, as I am always open to learn, but those positions seem to be highly competitive and placement seems to depend more on luck than anything else.
    What I am actually trying to find out here is: should I try to pledge my case while applying for position requiring experience, or everything goes strictly by the rules outlined in the ads.
    Last edit by WesF on Sep 5, '12
  2. Visit WesF profile page

    About WesF

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 2
    nurse (duh!!!); from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in med-surg


  3. by   Meriwhen
    Is LVN experience equivalent to RN experience? Technically, no. Both are nursing experience and there are a lot of duties that LVNs and RNs share...but 3 years' LVN experience will not automatically substitute for 3 years' RN experience. The scopes of practice are different enough.

    That being said...many employers will take LVN experience into account. Some use crazy formulas to come up with a RN-equivalent in experience. Others take it into consideration and may be more willing to take a gamble on you as a new grad RN because you have LVN experience and aren't exactly starting from scratch. And unfortunately, a few facilities are very strict on the RN experience rule, as a classmate of mine (a LVN with 19 years' experience!) found out: her current facility would not hire her into a RN position unless she had a year of RN experience. She took a second job as a RN at a LTC to get that experience.

    Since you really won't know until you apply...I would apply to the experienced positions and definitely plead your case. The way I see it, you have nursing experience that is still valuable, and would make you a better applicant than a new grad who hasn't a day of experience in his life.

    Or do what my classmate had to do and find a job in LTC/SNF/rehab or other areas where they're more likely to hire LVN-RNs or new grad RNs, and get your year there.

    Or option 3: have you tried looking for RN positions in your current facility? Being an internal hire with a proven track record may make them willing to take a chance on you.

    Best of luck!
  4. by   libran1984
    Most hospitals in my area (the indianapolis region) grant you half of your LPN experience as RN experience as long as those years were spent in a hospital setting. So if you worked 6 years as an LPN in a hospital, you are granted three years of RN experience.
  5. by   WesF
    Thanks you both for encouraging answers. Personally, my situation is not tragic, as my current employer appears to be eager to have me as RN. I just crave for more experience, diversity and educational opportunities. I guess, I would have to be bold and use my charms when questions about on-job experience arise.