Is LVN before RN a good choice?

by AjAy2124 AjAy2124 Member

Has 1 years experience.

I'm considering going into a LVN program but before doing so I want some insight/input from current LVNs to see if what i'm thinking is realistic. I'm torn in between being an LVN or Medical Assistant. (I know that the jobs are different) My goal is to complete one of these certificate programs and work while take my GE courses to get into an RN program. Do any of you find it hard to work and go to school fulltime? How is your job satisfaction?


nurse_flo_marie, MSN, RN

Specializes in Geri - Edu - Infection Control - QAPI. Has 12 years experience. 60 Posts

I'm not an LPN/LVN but wanted to address your thought about the LVN vs Medical Assistant route. What field or specialty do you see yourself working in? I would think about where you see yourself working as a RN & which job description (LVN vs Medical Assistant) will benefit you in getting there. Having & talking about your specific skills is sometimes better than having just a title.

Good luck!

quiltynurse56, LPN, LVN

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience. 953 Posts

If your goal is to become an RN, I would recommend the LVN route. Many programs will let LVNs bridge into the RN program. You will also be able to work as a LVN while earning your RN and the pay is greater than a MA. Your work experience will also help you with your classes and clinical for RN.


bluegeegoo2, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 11 years experience. 1 Article; 753 Posts

I suggest that if your goal is to become a RN, go to school for RN.

I went the PN route in order to get to work sooner with the intention of doing a bridge program...Ten years ago. I am still a LPN. Why? Life happens.

No-see-ums came up and returning to school kept being pushed off to "next semester", then "next semester" again and now, a decade later, I am returning to school but leaving healthcare entirely. (Totally different thread...)

The moral of the story is go for what you want NOW, as you never know what life may bring you and derail your plans.

Best of luck.


38,333 Posts

In general an LVN license is more practical than becoming an MA. If you get stuck at this level (and some people do remain at the first career step for various reasons) there is a better chance of finding LVN work.



Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

I highly recommend against it. I am an LPN and it has taken me years to take classes 1 or 2 at a time. If you can just get through the RN program, do it. LPNs are seriously becoming obsolete and you don't want to be caught in the crunch. If you can go to a community college and get your RN, do that, then if you want to earn your BSN, it's much easier.



Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

Not sure what state you live in, but the jobs here are minimal. You can work home health care, with no benefits and so so pay, and occasionally you can work in a rehab or nursing home.



Specializes in Med-Surge, geriatrics. Has 4 years experience. 2 Posts

I did the LVN to ADN to BSN route. It is tough when life happens. I finished my LVN in 2011, worked and saved for my ADN program and got into a private ADN accelerated program, all within 2 years. It takes a lot of determination to finish. Especially working as an LVN and getting a paycheck that was significantly higher than your minimum wage paycheck. But it is do-able. I recommended it, it laid down a solid foundation of time management and a lot of practice with meds (worked in a SNF setting). Plus, living in CA all of our programs are impacted. So I can relate.

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

You can advance and build on LVN. Medical assisting is OK, but it's a dead end.

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,599 Posts

I went through a 16 month full time LPN program with the idea that it would cut down my wait time and nursing program length when bridging over to RN. Well, I finished my RN pre-requisites and life happened. 15 years later I had a hell of a time finding an accredited school that would accept those old credits when I finally got pushed into a corner and HAD to finish my degree. Private school tuition is costly.

I also found that the general ed that was taught in the LPN program was covered again in more detail in the RN pre-requisites. The nursing program only gave me credit for the foundations semester. So for med surg 1&2 it was as my LPN disease and disorders in greater detail. Basically, there was a lot of repeat information from one program to another. If you can afford to just do the general RN program I would recommend it. Maybe getting your CNA first would help, since you could work in the industry at least while going to school, usually get some kind of tuition reimbursement through an employer, and make more than minimum wage. I don't know current CNA wages in nursing homes, but 20 years ago my aunt worked night shift and made only a dollar less than I did as an LPN private duty two years ago. She also had benefits while I did not.

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience. 3,358 Posts

LVN is definetly a better choice than MA if your goal is to be a RN.

But, if you can, go straight for RN if that is your ultimate goal. Many, maybe even most, LPNs intended to go on for the RN degree until life got in the way. Once you start working as a LPN and start making decent money you may find your desire to go back to school diminishes.

With all that said, since you asked about LPN job satisfaction, mine as a LPN is high. I'm comfortable in LTC, I prefer non-traditional hours and I make about 57k a year not counting overtime. I make enough to live a very comfortable lifestyle as a single man. And, once you get more than five years experience in LTC (I have 7) and have a good work history, you will find yourself in high demand in the field with facilities lining up to hire you.



498 Posts

yea, just go get your RN license.

I myself, completed an LPN program first in 2005 (it was only 10months) then 8 yrs. later completed an RN program in 2014. when I finished RN school I did not have the desire to go back and get my BSN degree. and now here I am, 4 years later about to start an online RN-BSN program. mainly because my future career goals have changed and a BSN degree would help me along the way. I'm so wishy-washy when it comes down to going back to school to obtain my RN. One minute I didn't want to the next I did.

But ultimately get you RN. I don't know what area you live in, but in my area LPN can only really work (and make decent money) in LTC facilities. and the only way I would go back to LTC, is if I absolutely positively had to go back.

Get the RN, expand your opportunities!