Need LPN advice!

  1. I'm a recent college grad considering the nursing field. I'm raising a toddler and work full-time. To make it easier on myself, thought I'd get my feet wet and become an LPN first, train to be an RN after paying off debts. HOWEVER, reading the forums is discouraging! LPN's regret not becoming RN's, RN's say the LPN program is a waste of time. I currently make $10/hr in retail and some LPN wages posted online aren't any better. Salary.com lists that LPN's in my area average 30k to 39k a year, which is great, but does this sound appropriate or farfetched? I live between Atlanta and Nashville. Down to business--I'd love to hear from LPN's who are willing to share advice, positive or negative. Do you love your job or have regrets? Also, if you don't mind, throw some salaries at me. Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit heatnicc profile page

    About heatnicc

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 1

    17 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I decided to attend LPN school first because all of the RN programs in the area had a whole slew of prerequisite classes in addition to the three year waiting lists. My private LPN program was 12 months long with no waiting lists. I have no regrets for doing things my way. Sometimes we encounter circumstances that require us to 'stair-step' from LPN to RN.

    I am working in Fort Worth, Texas in a nursing home and have earned $42,000 to date at a nursing home. However, be advised that my earnings are higher than most LPNs can expect to earn. LPN pay tends to be very low in rural areas and small towns. Also, hospital employment for LPNs is declining. You will likely end up in a nursing home or home health agency.

    I have five days off in a row every week and work 32 hours per week on Saturday and Sunday doing weekend doubles. Since I have Monday through Friday off, I attend school during the week at a local community college since my ultimate goal is to become an RN.

    Go straight for the RN license if you have the time on your hands. However, I took the LPN route because I had bills to pay and, therefore, did not have the time to end up on the waiting list of some college.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    By the way, my friend earned a B.S. in public health in 2001. Her degree only landed her jobs that paid $12 hourly, so she attended an LPN program at a local community college and now earns $20 per hour as an LVN in DFW, Texas.
  5. by   Jules A
    I'm happy that I got my LPN first also. I wasn't even sure I would like nursing and didn't want to commit two years to the ADN program without more of an idea of whether or not it would be my cup of tea. To tell the truth I was good and sick of that program by the end of the year and looked forward to starting with another program for my LPN to ADN bridge. I guess you will have to figure out what will work best for you because like you wrote, you will find a bunch of different opinions here. In cities near me, the LPN wages are in 30,000-40,000 range. Good luck with whatever you decide. Jules
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    Well, I really don't have any intention of getting my RN because I assessed my personality, and it does not gel with me becoming an RN. I did some careful thinking, and, in the process, I discovered many things about myself. I have no real patience for working that closely with people, especially to be responsible for their actions. I don't like to lead people, therefore, I'd never want to be a charge nurse being responsible for employees working under me, I don't want critically ill patients, and, yet, at the same time, I do enjoy reading about medical cases, interacting with people, teaching and being in the medical field as a nurse that has the basic skills to assist patients. I also really hated nursing school with a passion.

    One of the things that I keep in mind also, is that my circumstances make it so that I am not hungry for the big bucks. Believe me, I am not rich, however, my mother left me a mortgage free home when she died, I am married, with one son that is 20 years old. I recently became an LPN, and once I get my credit cards down (and it is not that much), I can survive okay with my salary, especially since I picked up an agency job to work as a flu nurse, and they also have many other interesting cases that I can try. I am not jealous of RNs and I am not discouraged about my position as an LPN, either. I do help the RNs as much as they will allow me...the only pet peeve that I have is when someone does not consider me to be a nurse, and offers their uninvited advice to go on for the RN. I had someone tell me "If you wanted it, you will make it happen." My response to that person was that I DON'T want it, so, it is a mute issue. We cannot fool ourselves to believe that being an LPN absolves us from responsibility because we have a lower license, but, if there is an RN that really wants to throw her weight around, then, I let her/him be an RN...and that may mean to take the whole headache.

    I am one that sincerely does not regret being an LPN. I was fortunate enough to have been in a program through my job that offered nursing assistants and the like to become either LPNs or RNs. I was on many committees, and I was a shoe in. Most of administration were really upset that I didn't choose to become an RN, and I even had the GPA to enter, but I flatly refused.

    You will get different responses to this thread, but whatever decision you make, know that if you begin as an LPN, then, you can move into the RN when you are ready...the buck does not have to stop there, unless you want it to. There are too many on line courses that can get you where you may want to be. And, if you decide to remain an LPN for awhile, don't let anyone make you feel less than a nurse.
  7. by   Holly27
    Quote from Jules A
    I'm happy that I got my LPN first also. I wasn't even sure I would like nursing and didn't want to commit two years to the ADN program without more of an idea of whether or not it would be my cup of tea. To tell the truth I was good and sick of that program by the end of the year and looked forward to starting with another program for my LPN to ADN bridge. I guess you will have to figure out what will work best for you because like you wrote, you will find a bunch of different opinions here. In cities near me, the LPN wages are in 30,000-40,000 range. Good luck with whatever you decide. Jules
    Im with her. I did the same thing. 2 of my friends started at the same time as me but they started the Trad Rn program. My perks compared to them is 1. I have my LPN and can work now making pretty decent money on w/e. they are both working as PCT making less. 2. I get a 6 mo break before going back to fast track and they don't. 3. Senior rotation you start your first iv on another student and in LPN school you practiced on dummies and then start on pts. So by senior rotation me and another lpn will be partners so to save our veins.lol My friend in rn school already asked if I would be her partner. I laughed said you ain't practicing on me!lol 4. We will all 3 graduate together. So no time lost.
    Plus I did it b/c I have a 3 and 8yr old. Just in case something happened and I had to quit school I would at least have my LPN. A few girls have had to quit the rn program and there is no refund. I would of been sick if I lost all that money and nuttin to show for it or having to wait a yr before the next class.
  8. by   Mudwoman
    If you are a recent college grad, you would be crazy to do the LPN program. You could be a BSN in the same amount of time.

    LPN/LVN pay is $13 to $25 per hour on avg depending on where you live in the US.

    RN pay is $20-$42 per hour depending on where you live in the US.

    Go for the RN and if you don't like direct patient care, then go into management.
  9. by   Holly27
    Another thing about the money. I've always worked retail and office and made decent money. My last job was 11.00/hr. BUT I don't have to worry now about finding a job or the company going under. Nursing gives you so so many options. I don't regret it. I love being an LPN and I would stay one if the pay would pay for private school for 2 kids and everything else.
  10. by   casey12873
    I'm glad I became an LPN first, too. 1) I have a great job, making $19/hour. 2) I'm planning on starting on my ADN through Excelsior--I never have to step foot in a classroom again or follow a class schedule. I can work my study time around my husband and kids. 3) I'm doing what I love!!

    However, when my friends ask me whether to go for LPN or RN, I always tell them something different, depending on where they are at in their lives. If they have kids, I tell them LPN is the way to go. If no kids, I always tell them just go get your RN and be done with it!!

    The decision, of course, is all yours. Good luck whichever way you choose to go!!
  11. by   txspadequeenRN
    I made a little over 25/hr at my last job (supervisor) and now I made 22-24 hr through agency. No I do not regret my decision to be a LVN. It had fed my 5 big mouth kids and my house and cars are paid for. I have no complaints. I will be a RN one day only because I am burned out with the opportunities for LVN's and Im just ready to do something different. So good luck to you in your decision..and studies.

    Quote from heatnicc
    I'm a recent college grad considering the nursing field. I'm raising a toddler and work full-time. To make it easier on myself, thought I'd get my feet wet and become an LPN first, train to be an RN after paying off debts. HOWEVER, reading the forums is discouraging! LPN's regret not becoming RN's, RN's say the LPN program is a waste of time. I currently make $10/hr in retail and some LPN wages posted online aren't any better. Salary.com lists that LPN's in my area average 30k to 39k a year, which is great, but does this sound appropriate or farfetched? I live between Atlanta and Nashville. Down to business--I'd love to hear from LPN's who are willing to share advice, positive or negative. Do you love your job or have regrets? Also, if you don't mind, throw some salaries at me. Thanks in advance!
  12. by   Lovin' my job!
    I also originally was going to go for my RN but then realised I would spend probably 2 yrs to upgrade to be accepted and then go on a waiting list. Then I found the LPN program. Didn't know what an LPN did but 1yr full time sounded good. After graduation and finishing 1 yr working I contemplated upgrading. Why? main reason: $$$$$ I started to see that there wasn't much difference in what was expected of me to what was expected of the RN. I should get paid for it then. But, after a while I thought, I don't want there 'responsiblity'. I kind of like being in the middle so to speak. I'm considered a team leader on the floor, but the RN is ultimately in charge. Hey that's great. I like to teach others and answer their questions and come to their aid when asked. But, if needed I can always refer to the RN. I love my role, no matter the pay difference. It's unfortunate yes but in the end it's my job on the floor that makes me want to go the work in the morning. There have been a lot of people, coworkers etc that say "You should go for your RN!" Why I don't know. I am considering DOC in the future though.
  13. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from Lovin' my job!
    I also originally was going to go for my RN but then realised I would spend probably 2 yrs to upgrade to be accepted and then go on a waiting list. Then I found the LPN program. Didn't know what an LPN did but 1yr full time sounded good. After graduation and finishing 1 yr working I contemplated upgrading. Why? main reason: $$$$$ I started to see that there wasn't much difference in what was expected of me to what was expected of the RN. I should get paid for it then. But, after a while I thought, I don't want there 'responsiblity'. I kind of like being in the middle so to speak. I'm considered a team leader on the floor, but the RN is ultimately in charge. Hey that's great. I like to teach others and answer their questions and come to their aid when asked. But, if needed I can always refer to the RN. I love my role, no matter the pay difference. It's unfortunate yes but in the end it's my job on the floor that makes me want to go the work in the morning. There have been a lot of people, coworkers etc that say "You should go for your RN!" Why I don't know. I am considering DOC in the future though.
    You have summed nicely the way that I feel about being an LPN...I like being in the 'middle' and I like to teach and help, both, the patient and the RNs. What is the acronym DOC?
  14. by   Plagueis
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I decided to attend LPN school first because all of the RN programs in the area had a whole slew of prerequisite classes in addition to the three year waiting lists. My private LPN program was 12 months long with no waiting lists. I have no regrets for doing things my way. Sometimes we encounter circumstances that require us to 'stair-step' from LPN to RN.

    I have five days off in a row every week and work 32 hours per week on Saturday and Sunday doing weekend doubles. Since I have Monday through Friday off, I attend school during the week at a local community college since my ultimate goal is to become an RN.

    Go straight for the RN license if you have the time on your hands. However, I took the LPN route because I had bills to pay and, therefore, did not have the time to end up on the waiting list of some college.
    This is why I am going to take the LPN route to nursing, too. There are many waiting lists at the RN schools around here, but the LPN program goes by test scores. If you don't score in the top 30-40, then you have to reapply the next year. I can't wait 2 to 3 years to get into a RN program. If you don't mind me asking, how do you like working weekend doubles? I know many LPNs who would love that schedule, but they tell me that it's usually reserved for those who have been employed at the nursing home for a while. I'm going to request weekend doubles (I work as a CNA) if I get into the LPN program, so I was curious as to whether that schedule made you exhausted for the RN program.

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