LPN before RN?

  1. Hi ladies and gentlemen!

    (First off I should point out that I know there are so many different ways to become an RN, or NP... I just don't know they yet. I plan on getting my Master's and hopefully becoming a Nurse Practitioner one day (not sure what to specialize in just yet).
    I need some input please...)

    I am actually still getting my pre-requisites for the nursing program at a community college I will be applying to soon. I'm wondering if I should take the LPN program so that I can work in a health setting to gain experience, or if I should just continue with school and shoot straight for the Bachelor's degree to obtain the RN.

    After I finish the 2 year associate program, I plan on transferring to BJ Goldfarb School or Nursing (or) UMSL's nursing program. Still undecided.

    If you could give me any advice at all on which route is the best to take, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you in advance

    Tara
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   applesxoranges
    I would focus on passing nursing school and getting experience before worrying about becoming an NP.

    The issue with LPN is that there is still an abundance of LPNs and RNs due to the amount of schools and the lack of people retiring. I would see if you can find new grad LPNs and find out if they had a job lined up. A lot of the new LPNs I know are having the same issue trying to find work as the new grad RNs are. If you are flexible with being able to move, you're more likely to find a job. LPNs in my area are typically hired for nursing homes, medical offices, or at the Red Cross.

    My classmates graduated in December with their associate degrees and I would estimate half are still struggling to find jobs. Some were pct/unit clerks at hospitals that were shoved out when their hospital system decided to hire fewer new grads for the residency program (20 instead of 50) and others were not.

    Honestly, I think getting my paramedic and being a volunteer on a fire department that ran 911 was far more beneficial to my future careers than if I had continued on with my LPN. I initially went for my LPN but switched to paramedic. Being an EMT allowed me to be hired in as a ER patient care tech (in my area, ERs prefer hiring EMTs for patient care techs) and then when I became a paramedic, I was hired into another ER primarily as a unit clerk but I picked up an additional shift each week for full time hours as a paramedic and usually ended up working as a paramedic anyway (sometimes strange switches were in place depending on which ancillary staff was cross trained). Then I was offered a position as an ER nurse part-time and an ICU nurse before I even graduated and I had an associates degree. Now a few others hospitals are eying me still now that I have had a license.

    However, there is like 2 bridge programs that I know of for paramedic to RN and one of those is Excelsior which is not accepted in a few states if that is the initial RN training (like CA). The other one is my home school and they rarely had enough paramedics that went that route to run the program.
  4. by   Shine_On
    Applesxoranges, I don't where you are located but I know of a good paramedic to RN bridge program at Collin College in Mckinney Texas (north of Dallas). Sounds like you have some great experience though. Good advice too.
  5. by   nursel56
    I think I'd shoot straight for the BSN if you can. Because the job market is so tight for new nurses of any degree program, lots of prior conventional wisdom is up in the air, but generally speaking LPN experience won't count as nursing experience when seeking an RN job. The caveat to that is that because there are now so many applicants I'm hearing that HR departments look favorably on anyone who has fundamentals training as a way to weed out the numbers. Still, if you can afford to, concentrate on getting your BSN. Best wishes!
  6. by   AlexGriner
    Probably be easier to shoot for the BSN. It'll take almost the same amount of time
  7. by   beingthechange
    Forget community college, goto Umsl and straight for BSN. It takes about the same amount of time and you will make more money sooner.
  8. by   pmabraham
    Good day:

    For those stating to forget community college, follow that advice if money doesn't matter. Otherwise, if money matters, a community college is excellent for saving money. Check if your local community college(s) have dual enrollment with schools that offer BSN's; that way, you get the best of both worlds.

    Thank you.
  9. by   openyourmind
    If RN is your goal, get straight to it in the most cost effective way, if possible.
  10. by   NurseGirl525
    I would just get my RN especially if you want to be a NP. Way too long and expensive to go the other route, if you ask me.
  11. by   HappyWife77
    Get RN instead of LPN then pursue the higher degrees while working as RN.
  12. by   KaroSnowQueen
    As an LPN of 30 years, get your ADN first. Period. If I had it to do over, I would.
  13. by   Natalie3142004
    I used to attend Forest Park Community college. I pretty much got all my Pre Req's done there. I was told by my adviser that it would be best for me to go to a University due to the waiting list at Forest Park Community college. I looked into UMSL and they had alot of Pre Req's that they wanted me to have completed before I transfered over since I was a transfer student. I am currently attending SIUE for Nursing I am going into my first year this fall. I will only have to complete 3 years since I have my first year of Pre Req's are done. I just feel like getting an LPN license and the doing a bridge will take the same amount of time as getting a BSN. I would honestly what's cheaper for you. A University is so expensive.
  14. by   TMCasaletto
    That's what my situation boils down to! (Sorry for the late reply by the way)

    I just want to do it "right" rather than as quick as possible, and especially with a kid, the money and location factors matter tremendously.

    Going to UMSL for 4 years versus Saint Charles Community college for 2, and transferring to a university for the remaining 2 seems to have no difference to me... but again, I'm still new so I could be completely wrong.

    Thanks for the reply!

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