Why are so many LPN's going for RN?

  1. Hello Everyone

    I have a very important question:

    Why are so many LPN's going back for their RN license? Which do you all recommend is the best route to go? I hear many people say different things but I was just curious to know why eventually most LPN's go back for their RN license. Which field do you all think is the best field to go into LPN or RN or is it just each individual choice. Since they are so much related wonder why do they have LPN why can't it just be RN,BSN, MSN.

    Most people say that LPN and RN basically do the same thing so what is the difference besides some things LPN cannot do but it is not their choice because they are capable it is just the law that prevents them from doing certain things. I would love to hear everyone's opinion.


    Lord Bless Each and Everyone of Us and Lord Teach Us to Take One Day At a Time
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    About shunda

    Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 113
    mental health technician


  3. by   Cindy_A
    I am currently an LPN in an LPN to RN transition program. The reason I am becoming an RN is because there are more opportunities for RN's than LPN's. LPN's can do many things an RN does , but it is limited, some states more than others. The variety of jobs you can do as an LPN is much more limited than with an RN.
    Some people become LPN's at first because it takes less time than an RN. Many people start out to get their LPN, and are already married and have families. Then later, when their kids are grown, some people go ahead for the RN.
    For many, it is their personal choice.
  4. by   KristaB
    One of our instructors mentioned that with the nursing shortage, LPNs are doing almost everthing that an RN does, just at a lower pay rate. She said it makes economic sense to stay in school the extra three quarters and make at least $6 more an hour to start.

    And as the other poster mentioned, there are far more opportunities for RNs. You're pretty limited in what you can do as an LPN, and there is little room for advancement.

  5. by   shyviolet78
    I think the two biggest reasons are being able to work in the specialty you want and pay. At the hospital I work at (a large teaching hospital) LVNs are only hired to work in the senior-care outpatient centers. At the county hospital, they can work in the hospital, but the majority work in Labor and Delivery or the outpatient low-cost community clinics. My mother-in-law was a LVN and never wanted to work anywhere but a nursing home. She loved the older folks and being able to be a part of their lives every day. She made as much as a LVN in a nursing home as RN's working in hospitals did. So for her, sticking with the LVN degree was a good choice. In my area, new grad pay for a hospital job is $11 for a LVN and $18 for a RN. $7 an hour is a big leap for only one more year of school. I considered becoming a LVN when I first decided to go to nursing school, but I was already making $13 an hour as a administrative assistant and I just couldn't see the practicality of going to school for a year to end up making $2 less an hour than I was making to begin with. I don't know the difference in the scope of practice for a LVN and a RN, but it does vary by state.
  6. by   MRed94
    For me, there are, I think, two main reasons I am getting my RN from an LPN.

    1. I am tired of having to run and find a RN who has a second to ok something I am perfectly capable of deciding on my own....(reporting a patient fall, putting in a NG tube on the same patient for the 4th time that night, etc, etc)

    2. I am tired of some of the RNs that I work with looking down their noses at me when I request their input (which I have to do legally) and being told they are too busy.

    More than anything else, I want the autonomy that comes with the RN designation. I have paid my dues a hundred fold, and, God willing, will have that same designation in little over a year.

  7. by   GPatty
    I have the same reasoning as Marla.
    I know this type of thing happens frequently, although I am not a LPN yet, soon I will be, and I want to further myself from there because of basically the same reasons.
    I figure if I know how to do all these things all ready, why should I have to go and get an RN to sign for me?
    AND.... the pay is a heck of a lot better!
  8. by   MRed94

    Thanks for the validation!!! I had a rotten day, and those were words straight for the heart!

    Thanks again!


  9. by   challis
    Hi everyone,

    Im an Enrolled Nurse here in Australia, which is similar to an LPN in the USA. Im working full time & attending university part time to attain my Bachelor of Nursing degree to become a Registered Nurse.
    My reasons for doing this are:

    * I will be given more respect from both within the profession and from patients. I find that my patients wont bother asking me questions because they feel Im not qualified enough. I have to constantly assure them the I do have appropriate nursing qualifications!!

    * More pay. However, it will cost my close to $10,000 (australian) to just pay my Government tertiary fees not to mention books (very expensive!!), university fees, travel etc.

    * More responsibility. At times I get treated like an idiot with limited responsibility.

    * Finally, more scope of work speciality and environment.

  10. by   NurseAngie
    There are as many reasons for LPN's going on to become RN's as there are people reading and posting on these boards. Personally speaking, it has always been my plan to become a RN and I became a LPN simply because I could do it in a very short amount of time and I wanted to complete a program at our last duty station. Many schools offer LPN-RN options and some universities offer LPN-BSN options (East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN is one). I think that the LPN option is great for someone that might need to get empoyment quickly or if you just want to "get into the field" to test the waters before you commit to a more lengthy education. Many LPN's are content with their choices and are able to support themselves and their families so they don't want to become RN's. Me , on the other hand, I have very EXPENSIVE "happies"(LOVE to travel!) and I have a 10 year old son that wants a water bed, cell phone and a motor scooter! Did I mention he and his brother eat like a pro football team???? Hubby wants a new Mustang Bullet and I want a trip to the Caymans.....So.....Can you see where this is leading?All kidding aside...I wanna catch babies someday! I dream of a pitocin-free world and don't mind being with women in long labors. I love the pregnancy and birth joys and I'll be CNM by the time our local one retires in seven years or so. I am proud that I became a LPN and I look forward to becoming a RN. It's all good!
  11. by   shunda
    So therefore what do you all recommend? That a person get their LPN first and then their RN or just go ahead and go for the gusto? Do you believe that LPN's make better students when they are in the RN program? I am really curious to know what you all think?

  12. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    The decision will ultimately be up to you my dear.....but everyone has a different reason for starting at a LPN ; like one poster said...a quick way of getting employment in the nursing field to get your feet wet first to see if you even like being a nurse before you invest a couple of years of education and money into the career and then decide you do not like it. That was my main reason for starting at LPN first. I am currently in an ADN program with graduation pending for this coming December (Hoorayyyy). As a SN with my credentials as an LPN has been helpful in my clinical rotations as I am use to IV's and some medications that I pass on a regular basis and some skills maybe a person who is not a LPN and I also work in a hospital as IN HOUSE REGISTRY which allows me to work in all areas of nursing. I am put where I am needed in the hospital. So with the knowledge of patient care and medication passing and of course some of the RN's I work with will answer questions and do not mind showing me how to do some things that I am not allowed to do. So the LPN experience can be helpful as a student but if you know for a fact you want to be a RN then why waste time doing the LPN just go for it and get yourself in a RN program. Of course the ADN program allows for you to jump into RN quickly than BSN and then going back to school to get your BSN is a little more laid back than if you start from scratch in a BSN program but I am an older woman with two teenage children so I need to work and support my family and myself so I have to do ADN first and then go back for my BSN. A lot of times your job will give you a percentage of tuition for furthering your education which is a plus for me and my situation. I hope this info was helpful.
  13. by   shunda
    Thank you for your posts. They have helped me out a lot. I was talking to a nurse instructor today that has is Master's in Nursing and he felt like LPN's made better student's and they were the ones that mostly succeed in the ADN program.. That was just opinion and like he said it just depends on what the situation is that you are going for LPN first. There are a lot of decisions for me to make and I am just going to have to prayful
  14. by   nurseleigh
    I am going for my LPN first for a few reasons as well.

    The first being that i would like to have some experience as a nurse before i take on the responsibilities of bieng an RN.

    The second is based on heresay(from many people) and that is that the RN's that go straight through school and dont experience what an LPN does usually have a bigger attitude problem when dealing with the LPN's.

    Before you RN's start typing, this does not always ring true and I am sure there are many nice RN's that respect their LPN's. Please don't take this as another "I hate RN's" post.

    And finally, I took the LPN route because i lost my job and need to be able to go back to work before my unemployment runs out and i just couldn't finish the ADN program in that time.