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Nursing Students General Students


hi. i am looking to nursing as a possible future career. however, i do not know if i should strive to become an lvn, or an rn. i know that becoming an lvn requires less scholling time, and of course makes less pay. but, i would like to know the basic differences in pay, responsibilites, oppurtunities, ect for rn's vs. lvn's. i would really love to work with pregnant women, or babies, could this be possible as an lvn? how mucyh control do nurses generally have over the area they work in? thank you so much for your help. it will be greatly appreciated.


I'm not sure on all the differences between LVN/RN, but I can tell you I decided to go for my BSN over the LVN for several reasons: one, for the increased amount of autonomy the RN has vs. the LVN; two, and it may sound crass, but the money is quite a bit better (I'm 36 and don't have as many years to "climb the ladder" as you would!);three, the advancement possibilites are far better for an RN than LVN, though I have met some LVN's that were charge nurses (in the SNF unit).

If you have the time, you have to weigh your options on which to select: it will take longer to obtain your RN (about a year or so for the program and prerequisites), but then you have it. To obtain an LVN, then upgrade to RN seems to be a bit harder, as you probably would be working while trying to get your degree (an LVN is not a degree, but a vocational training program). Personally, I feel going straight for the RN is a better option, whether you go for an ADN or BSN.

While doing clinicals, I was working with an LVN that had 12 years experience, and knew nursing inside and out, but I, being a lowly nursing student, was able to administer and IV medication where she was not able to do so. I found this quite interesting! Of course, she knew how to do it, and why, but her license would not allow her to do this, and had to rely either on an RN, or me, an RN student, to deliver the med. I felt this seemed a bit degrading for her, but she never showed it.

I would recommend that you go into a hospital and ask the RN's and LVN's their opinions on why they chose what they did (of course, if you can catch them! They're awfully busy!)

I'm not sure if I answered any questions for you, and hope some seasoned nurses out there will reply for you. I just thought I'd give you my opinion, since you are just slightly older than my oldest son (god, that makes me feel old!), and would hope someone out there would give him some advice when he asks for it. Take care, and welcome to the wide world of nursing!:p

Bizkitt- Some programs (like mine) allow you to sit for the LPN-Nclex after the first year (after prereq's) and go on to get your RN the second. That might be an option for you. Personally I would encourage you to get your RN. In my area, the hospitals are not hiring many LPN's and the ones that do work seem embittered that they are doing much of the same work and getting paid far less. In our state LPN's legally must be under the supervision of an RN, so there is less autonomy. Also, the depth of learning you will get in an RN program is invaluable. Good luck in your decision.

it would largely depend on where you would like to work. As an LPN or 2 yr RN (ADN you could work on the postpartum units of most centers. Labor and delivery most places usually want a 4 yr RN (BSN) however may have ADN's also. if you wanted to get a 2 year nursing degree I would chose the ADN route if you have the option. You will have more oppertunities later especially in the OB arena.

best of luck,


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