Is it ok to be an LPN instead of an RN when working in a hospital???


Hello everyone,

I am following a voice in my heart to pursue nursing. I am a mother of three, and I am going to start as a psw/cna, and work my way up from there. I am a little unsure if I should work my way up to RN or finish at LPN. I would like to work at a hospital pref. in Labour and delivery, post partum, emerg or pediatrics; and I have heard of LPN/RPNs working in all those positions. I would like to be dealing with the patient closely, as I love helping people, and I heard that RNs tend to do alot of managerial work, not as closely with the patient, which is not what I'm really looking for.

As you can see I am very unsure of what Rns and Lpns do, so I would like some insight from you brave and wonderful nurses out there, into if it is possible for LPNs/Rpns to work in the areas I listed above, and if it is direct patient care

Thanks so much guys:sleep: :)


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

Depends on the type of hospital you are trying to get into. My hospital is a teaching hospital and only a handful of them are LPNs. They are actually being phased out in favor of bachelor-degreed RNs. I say go for your RN license. Not all RNs are managerial ... they do have more clinical responsibility than LPNs .... and they make at least $15K-$20K more per year.

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JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Are you in Canada? Your terminology looks like you are not US based. In Canada LPN/RPN attend a 2 year college based program. RNs attend a 4 year BSN program at University.

Specializes in NICU. Has 9 years experience.

What province are you located in? This will make a difference. It really depends on your level of comittment, if you are able to invest 4 years into university then I suggest going straight for your RN. There are many more job oppourtunities and less limitations when it comes to your career. I am located in Ontario and I am an RPN. We are in most areas of the hospital, and at my hospital I work to my full scope. There are only 3 tasks that separate my work from the RNs work. However, in my hospital system we do not have RPNs in L&D and very few in pediatrics. It is mostly an RN world in those areas. Many hospitals in Ontario even severely limit the scope of RPNs so they arent even allowed to hang IV meds (a friend at another hospital is not, while I am allowed). Also, the job market is not the greatest right now and it will be tough to find any job...let alone in a specialized area. There is little chance of getting right into L&D/Peds/ER right out of school unless you do a final placement there (if you become an RN). You really have to just take what you can get at this point.

I would also recommend taking the RPN to see if you like nursing, I am heading back to school for my degree but I am already an RPN with experience working in an area I like. If you feel you like where you're at as an RPN then stay there. If not then decide from there.

Also it isn't true that RNs only do management type work. Yes, most managers/charge nurses are RNs....but MOST RNs are bedside nurses.

Good luck

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I agree. It depends on where you work. I am working in a small hospital and RPNs work on L&D and the ER but not in pediatrics.I went through to be an RPN because I needed a part time program so i could keep working.I enjoy being an RPN and have no plans to continue.