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Information for LPN to BSN

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by Cheekygreek Cheekygreek (New) New

I am not currently an LPN, but I've been thinking about becoming one. However, I want to be a labor and delivery nurse, so my understanding is that I would need my BSN. Is this correct? Or do I have the option to work in labor and delivery as an LPN?

I am a stay-at-home mom of two so I am concerned about how much classroom time I am going to have to spend on average. Once I become an LPN I would like to take the online course to get my BSN. What are the pros and cons to going from LPN to BSN vs. LPN to RN to BSN? Or is it essentially the same thing? Also, do you have to be a CNA before an LPN? Whatever information you can give me will help!

One more question...sorry...how many years does it take to become an LPN, RN, and BSN? Thanks for any info you can give!

I don't know why you haven't gotten a reply from anyone yet, so I will do my best to answer.

I am an LPN. It took 1 year (2 semesters) of full time school (Mon-Fri, 8-3, to get my LPN at a community college.

An RN (at the same community college) is 4 semesters (2 years).

A BSN is a 4 years degree. Typically, someone will get their RN and then do an online RN to BSN bridge program in about 18 months.

The hospital I used to work at does not use LPNs in L&D. Some places might, but I don't know for sure. Getting your BSN is your best bet, but it will take several years of school.

If you currently have a degree in another area, some schools have fast-track BSN degree programs if you have a different BS degree. It's something to look in to.

Good luck!

My name is Linda and I'm a manager. I found this thread and site by accident while doing a web search. I wanted to add a few notes in case the OP is still checking replies. I started as an RN in the early 90's and have been a manager since 2000. I have seen hiring booms (like the "nursing shortage" a few years ago) and times when the only RN's hired are from within. Right now is a very tough time to be a new grad. Everyone blames the economy but that is only part of the reason. The other equation is the sheer number of nursing grads. A few years ago when hospitals couldn't staff enough nurses, schools capitalized on this by luring new applicants into nursing programs and boasting the extremely high placement rates of nursing grads. That was true of students graduating at that time. However, there are far too many new grads than there are openings for them. If you live in any fairly large metropolitan area (I'm in a city of approx. 2 million), chances are you have a network of community colleges with nursing programs. Add to that at least one to three universities. Then add in the for-profit schools (Bryman, Apollo, etc) and hospital training programs, and there could be well over a thousand new grads each graduation period.

The hospital system where I work is one of the largest in the nation and we have facilities in 7 states. Since last spring, we have not hired any new grads and the openings we have are mostly filled by internal applicants who have continued their education to attain RN licensure. if you are considering going to school for LPN or RN, let me give you my most valuable piece of advice: I would suggest you go the LPN>RN route first. Why do I say this? Because as an LPN, you can gain licensure and begin working much sooner (years sooner) than someone pursuing an AS RN degree, not to mention someone working towards their BSN. This will give you two advantages in the job market. You will be gaining valuable work experience while the AS/BSN student is sitting in class. You will also be establishing a work history in a healthcare setting as an LPN, earning income along the way, and you can still continue in an LPN to RN bridge program if you still find that nursing is the right fit for you.

If you were applying at my hospital, and I read on your app that you worked as an LPN for a number of years while completing your bridge program, I would hire you over someone with a BSN and little or no experience. No question about it. I've hired nurses with exactly that scenario many times. Don't let people fool you into thinking that just because you go the BSN route, you have a better chance of getting hired. BSN is valuable if you want to get into management or supervising at some point, but to a hiring manager, in terms of new grads an RN is an RN. I can tell you stories from applicants who have gone into many thousands of dollars in debt getting their BSN, and can't find a job. This desperation comes across in some of the postings on this site, and even more glaring when an applicant is sitting in front of me (or in phone interviews). And yes, having a good GPA in nursing school is good, but still won't convince me to hire you over someone with more experience. There are many people who excel in the classroom yet can't apply any of that knowledge to actual work settings, or fold under the stress of the job. Another thing that hiring managers look at is the amount of time since you graduated. It is an unfortunate reality that the longer it takes for a new grad to find a job, the less desirable that person becomes. The primary reason is because the grad has not been using their skills all that time, and we all know how easily some information can be lost when not used.

Please understand that I am not putting anyone down nor am I discouraging anyone from furthering their education. I probably wouldn't have been where I am had I not continued on to earn my M.S. But there is so much misinformation and speculation (about 99% of which is from other students and new grads, or floor nurses with no management/hiring experience) that I wanted to give a few words of wisdom to those contemplating nursing school or about to complete a program. I don't visit message boards often but I will repost this on a new thread so others can read it who might not read this particular post.

Best of luck to everyone and have a wonderful 2011! :)

Thank you very much for your advice and words of wisdom, it is really appreciated. The more that I think about the route I want to take it makes me see that becoming an LPN will be the best choice. I still have a lot of work to do before I even make it that far. I haven't taken any pre-requisites yet. I live in a pretty small town with a community college and that is the only nursing program offered in this area, as far as I know. There always seems to be job listings for nurses in this area as well. So getting a job here might be a little bit easier than in a big city where there is a lot more competition.

Once again, thank you for all the helpful information!