Whats the difference?
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- 0Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a licensed nurse with a more limited scope of practice, in most situations, they report to a Registered Nurse (RN).
Education to become an LPN is shorter. In my state, after pre-reqs are complete, a diploma to take the LPN exam can be obtained after 2 semesters at a community college (about 1 year).
RN has more than one avenue to obtain. BSN is a Bachelor's in Science in Nursing, so it is at least a 4 year degree. ADN is Associate's Degrees in Nursing, so essentially a 2 year degree from a community college. BSN and ADN take the same licensing exam to obtain an RN, which is the license to practice as a nurse. There are also some states that have Diploma programs to obtain an RN, I don't believe my state has these any longer and I don't really know how they work...about 3 years, I think.
All schools have their own requirements and pre-reqs that are required before actually beginning in the nursing program so the time to complete could vary based on the school and program you choose. There is a lot of talk about the eventual entry level requirement to practice as an RN is the BSN. I am an ADN with a BS in another field and didn't have a problem finding a good job as an RN but I think different areas of the country may be more difficult.
Best of luck to you. It can all be very confusing in the beginning.
- 0Quote from alihoff93This can vary by state and the actual job. LPN's do not develop and initiate care plans. LPN's don't typically do anything with IV's unless they obtain a certification allowing them to do so. In my area, LPN's typically work in LTC, home care, and clinics. I don't know of hospitals in my area that hire LPN's. LPN's work under the direction of an RN. I would recommend going to the website for your state's Board of Nursing and look up the Nurse Practice Act for both LPN and RN. This will give you a better idea of the difference in the scope of practice for both licenses in your state.The only thing I am still confused about is what an lpn does? I am finishing up my prereqs to get my bsn right now but I am overwhelmed and want to do something a step down from getting my bsn.
- 0Quote from alihoff93I also wanted to say about being "overwhelmed". Many if not most of us have had that feeling with nursing school...you are not alone. My guess is that many of your classmates are feeling the same way. Seek out people in your program that you can talk to and study with. What is the biggest thing you feel overwhelmed about? Maybe someone here can offer advice on what you are struggling with. Best of luck to you.The only thing I am still confused about is what an lpn does? I am finishing up my prereqs to get my bsn right now but I am overwhelmed and want to do something a step down from getting my bsn.
- 0My biggest struggle right now is that the nursing school at the university I am at only accepts 30 students a year. I am still finishing up my pre-reqs right now. I am also very homesick, it is causing horrible anxiety and even making me physically sick. Im thinking I want to go home after this semester and get my LPN instead of getting my BSN here.
- 0Feb 28, '13 by sueallIf you're not mentally and emotionally ready for a BSN program, then, by gosh, DON'T DO IT! Only YOU can tell if this is actual non-readiness, or just the normal jitters everyone experiences. If you'd feel more comfortable closer to home with an LPN program, then follow that path for now. You can follow through with the BSN route in a few short years when you actually WANT to pursue it. From the sound of it, you haven't applied to the BSN program yet, let alone been accepted or wait-listed, so you are completely free to take the path that you want at this point. Plus having the LPN and some LPN nursing experience behind you may make the transition to BSN easier and faster.
Just a note of caution -- be aware that some BSN programs have a time cut-off for the science prereqs. For instance, some schools won't accept an A&P or Microbiology grade that's over 5 years old. Watch your time line so you don't land up having to retake your science classes before applying to a BSN program.
ETA: Or look into a 2-yr nursing degree at a local community college close to home. It'd be a good middle step between the LPN and BSN alternatives for now, and you can use the pre-reqs you've been working on.Last edit by sueall on Feb 28, '13