Can someone point me to differences between LPN/ADN/BSN?

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    I am 35 years old and a stay at home mom. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. I want to go back to work, but not in "business". I'm thinking I want to pursue Nursing. I am still in the exploratory phase but I'm hoping someone can break down the differences between LPN, ADN and BSN. I'm thinking of going for my ADN, but then I'm reading about accelerated BSN programs for people who already have their bachelors in another field (like me). I graduated with my Bachelors in 1999, so is that too long ago to qualify for an accelerated program? I'm thinking that if I were going to go for my ADN, why not see if I qualify for an accelerated program for a similar amount of time and get my BSN instead?
    If I were to get my LPN, what can I do with that? I would like to work in the mother/baby unit in the hospital, eventually. Just not sure where to start.
    Thanks for your help.
    Chris

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  2. 0
    Your business degree likely did not contain the pre-requisite hard sciences (anatomy, chemistry, microbiology) required for admission to an accelerated BSN program- so you would have to take those (2-3 semesters) before being accepted into ANY type of program.

    LPNs typically do not work in hospitals any longer, and so must consider that.


    My best advice is for you to shadow a nurse for a couple of twelve-hour shifts and see for yourself what nursing is really like. Ask the nurse you shadow what type of degrees get hired in her hospital (IF they are hiring- there is NO NURSING SHORTAGE, despite what you may have heard). THEN look at programs in your area- and speak with the nursing admissions people at the school. Nursing school entry is VERY competitive, and you must make yourself stand out as a candidate.

    Good luck!!
  3. 0
    Thank you for your response. Where do Associate Degrees work into the equation? Are they typically hired in hospitals? Thanks again.
  4. 0
    It depends on the hospital. BSN grads seem to be preferred in many places. I'm out of that whole 'equation' so cannot really tell you one way or another.
  5. 1
    In my state and locality, you can become an LVN in 1-2 years including Prereqs. However, with a bachelors degree, you can become a BSN in a year also through a. Accelerated program, which is referred to as an ABSN.. This costs quite a bit, but if a BSN is your terminal objective, I'd highly consider doing that versus bridge from LVN to RN to BSN. For many of us, the choice of how to obtain the terminal degree comes down to money versus time.

    I'm not a nurse, but am a student. I was a stay at home mom ( actually I worked from home) and decided to become a nurse when I was 30. Im 34 now. I did not have a BA, but was about halfway there so I started taking Prereqs for the BSN program. It takes quite a while to complete those Prereqs, usually. In my area, it is harder to get into publicly funded RN programs because they are impacted.

    I was almost finished with my prereqs when I jumped ship and went to an expensive private LVN school from which I was able to complete in less than a year. (I will not take a break and will keep going to school when I graduate, I'll just hopefully be able to work part time and make good money while I finish)

    But, that private LVN program costed about 75% of the cost of an accelerated BSN program, so if Id had a degree, I would have pursued that ABSN.

    By the way, in my area, the accelerated private schools offer the Prereqs in an accelerated manner also. They also accept testing out and things like that.

    In my area, work conditions, typical schedules and pay is very different depending on if you hold an LVN versus an RN. For some people, an LVN degree pays enough to be a terminal goal, as it does pay well in my area. It's just not my goal, mine is BSN because the hours for RNs are more flexible (more part time work available) and double the pay. Working conditions in hospitals if you are an RN are also very different from working conditions as an LVN, as they typically work in SNFs, clinics, etc.

    In my area, the BSN doesn't pay more, it just makes you a more competitive new grap applicant and opens doors to other niches within nursing, like management.
    Summer Days likes this.
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    As I understand it, LPN takes less years to complete than ADN and ADN less years than BSN. The scope of LPN practice is very limited and LPNs are typically under the direction of an RN. LPNs take care of stable patients vs RNs who can care for both stable and unstable patients. You can receive your RN license via ADN or BSN program. The difference between the two is that with a BSN the opportunities to move up the nursing ladder are open whereas as the opposite is true with an ADN RN license unless you return to finish school. As far as pay is concerned between these two, it is very marginal. It remains to be seen whether hospitals will switch to only hiring BSN RNs but as of now ADN RNs are still sought after by the hospitals. I encourage you to do BSN or ABSN if you can only because if hospitals switch to hiring BSN RNs in the future, you'll be at a better position. From what I gather, you will need to take core classes as the user meanmaryjane has advised you.
  7. 0
    Depending on your area, and state of practice, there are options to be a LPN, an ADN RN, or a BSN RN.

    In my state, LPNs have a wide scope of practice; they are implementing IV therapy to the point of blood products. Some states do not have that scope. LPNs are hired in sub acute rehab, LTC, LTAC, Dialysis, Clinics, specialty clinics, specific surgi centers wound care clinics, and hospitals.

    As a LPN, I worked in sub acute and was IV therapy certified; I had enough hours to become wound certified; I also worked in Peds. I worked in a ton of settings and learned and enjoyed my years as a LPN; HOWEVER; I couldn't get certified in Rehab nursing or Peds because-surprise! I wasn't an RN. I worked while I returned to school; I was a LPN for 7 years.

    I would like to add that ADN programs and BSN programs are pretty much the same length. It takes about 2 years to completed pre-req's/ core courses, then the program courses are 2 years; for BSN programs, they separate the research/EBP (evidenced-based practice) class and the management class; sometimes they have electives (in my program, we had Perioperative I and II as an elective) that have advisor approval or preceptorships that are a semester long with you being on a floor or in the community learning "hands-on".

    When I researched my area, ADN and BSN programs were similar in structure; I had a previous Associate degree where I needed the two years of nursing courses...my school of thought was to go for the BSN...I chose the accelerated part time BSN program, so I could continue to work.

    Both ADNs and BSNs both take the NCLEX-RN as well; It will be up to you: if you decide to get a graduate degree in nursing, then, go for the BSN...and honestly, it seems as because there is a saturation of nurses, they are going to BSN candidates first. In my area, new grad BSN nurses have about 18 months-2 year max to get a job; ADNs 2 years or more. It took me eight months total to get a job; it wasn't a good fit-the hospital has a horrible reputation for not being a great starting ground for new grads, and is pretty open about it; it took me another four moths to get a new job, which I'm enjoying as a unit supervisor. I saw a post on here where a poster commented that there are ADNs STILL looking in my area; and that poster stated that this person graduated almost 3 years ago.

    Research which programs you can get into; If a local CC has a relationship with a university nursing program where you can get your RN, then transfer and get your BSN, then take that route if you decide to go the ADN route.
    Last edit by LadyFree28 on Sep 14, '13
  8. 1
    LPN and RN are licensed nurses. ADN and BSN are degrees.

    An LPN is a licensed practical nurse. Their scopes vary based on the state but they generally must work under the supervision of an RN. Hospitals in my state do not typically employ LPNs though there may be a few grandfathered in. I know the hospital I worked at employed 0 LPNs in any role- including outpatient. LPNs can typically find work in doctor's offices, LTC and Home Health/Private Duty. I believe the program is about a year.

    ADN is an Associate's Degree in Nursing. It is technically a 2 year nursing program but with prereqs it's longer. Whether or not ADNs can find work depends on the state. In my area (large city in the Northeast) ADNs cannot find work in hospitals.

    BSN is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Many employers are preferring BSN educated nurses these days.

    ADN and BSN grads are both eligible to take NCLEX-RN and receive identical licenses upon passing.
    Esme12 likes this.
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    Although ADN and BSN will allow you to it for the licensure exam to become a RN in an acute care/hospital setting....it will NOT guarantee you a position in mother baby unit which typically do not hire new grads
    KelRN215 likes this.
  10. 0
    In Virginia the LPN usually works under the direction of a RN OR a physician...meaning that we CAN work directly under the doctor under our licenses.


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