I am taking a 2 preq courses at my local community college. I was just wondering...what is the difference between a LVN and a RN? I am going to apply to a community college's 2-year nursing program sometime next year. Is there really a difference? If anyone is currently a LVN please provide me with some feedback. My ultimate goal is to be an RN...so I'm not sure if starting as a LVN is best or not.
Jan 22, '07
The LVN/LPN scope of practice varies from state to state. LPNs are primarily bedside nurses, taking care of patients hands on, or in LTC supervising their care and monitoring/giving medications. In almost all settings the LPN is supervised by the RN, MD or Nurse Practioner.
Going LPN first and then LPN to RN is a valid choice for many people.
It is my humble opinion that for the hard work and responsibilities that LPNs have (which are smiilar to RNs in direct patient care) in hopsital settings (which is the only experience I have) they are underpaid. The beginning LPN makes about $5 to $8 less per hour doing very similar work to the beginning RN in the hospital setting. The RN is able to have more opportunities in areas shut out to LPNs, such as crditical care, labor and delivery, ER. (Of course in certain parts of the country you're going to find LVN's in all areas).
I advise going for the RN if you can. Better opportunities and more money. But if getting the LVN is faster and you need to work right away, then that is a great option too.
Good luck. Feel free to ask further questions.