How much a LPN school teaches compared to an RN school?

  1. Just wondering, how much a LPN school teaches compared to what an RN school teaches? just like a previous thread said "80 percent"? (only nursing classes, I am not considering any general education courses).

    I'm asking since I'm thinking LPN-RN route instead of Rn route. I want to have some idea about if a LPN school will prepare me very well for LPN-RN. My friend told me in her RN class, a LPN fails the program, and my friend thinks one can learn very little in an LPN program.
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  3. by   mel1213
    I am not really sure the difference in between the two. I know becoming an Rn requires more education. In my experience as only being an LPN for a year, I have seen that LPN get more hands on experience. If I could do it over again I would have just gone for my Rn degree. They have more privelages and more job oppurtunities than an LPN does. It would take more time if you are going to do the LPN to RN route than it would just to go for your RN. Best of luck with whatever you decide!!
    As far as learning is concerned I felt that I was greatly educated and it is a hard program but worth it in the end.
    But I think no matter what school you decide to attend, once you graduate and are activly working, thats the most education you get, on the floor!!!
    Last edit by mel1213 on Nov 4, '06
  4. by   EricJRN
    Your level of preparation will most likely depend on both the LPN program you enter as well as the LPN-to-RN program you choose. I don't think you can quantify the answer with a percentage, especially since the quality of any nursing program (LPN, RN, or LPN-to-RN) can vary so much.
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Having been through both this is my take:

    As an LPN I was well prepared to work immediately after graduation and my clinical skills were up to par. I knew exactly what I was doing.

    As an RN I learned the theory behind everything I had been doing as an LPN. Also management skills. Precepting new RN grads I found them not nearly as clinically proficient as new LPN grads but more theory efficient.
  6. by   Nurse`Chief~Chickie
    i'm doing the lpn to rn route. in my lpn school, we had a lot of hands on /clinical time. a lot of nurses i've talked to about this route say they are glad they did it as well. that working as an lpn gave them experiences they wouldn't have gotten in their rn program. you will get just what the name implies. practical experience. and alot of knowledge, but it's not the same type of schooling.and i think the 80% remark was tongue-in-cheek, it's not based in any fact as far as i know. it's a different type of education like dutchgirlrn said.
  7. by   luv4nursing
    I cant speak from experience yet bc I start the LPN to RN bridge in January, but the LPNs I have known personally that bridged over to RN said they didnt learn anything new. Its a matter of going more in depth than LPN school did. We got a crash course on nursing and RN school is kinda like bridging the gap. Ive only been an LPN for a year and I worked in home care so my hands on skills are sort of limited since they dont use LPNs much in the hospital setting around here. It did, however give me the opportunity to be able to work and provide for myself while I finish my degree. Had I not had that option, Im not sure I would have made it thru the whole 2 year generic RN program. I barely made it through the one year of LPN school financially. So it was very beneficial to me, especially since there was a long wait list for the generic program and none for the bridge. I may still be waiting to start the generic track now, but instead Im only a year away from my RN.
  8. by   smk1
    I can't speak from experience (I am an RN student and not an LPN), but i would imgaine that clinicals would be very stress free for an LPN who is now in the RN program. In many states the skill sets are fairly close on the med/surg floors so it would be like going to work. I would love to have that comfort level! However we had 6 LPNs taking a few psych courses and other co-req courses for the RN program this summer so that they could join the RN students as seniors this fall. 4 failed and according to the "rumors" heard around campus it had to do with failing the math tests. Obviously because they are nurses they knew how to do these drug cals and drip rates at one point, but maybe haven't had to do them in years and thought it would come back really easily. Apparently it didn't, so my advice is to just make sure that you don't assume you already know how to do _____, As we all know the "school way" of doing things can vary greatly from how we see things done on the floor. I would imagine that would be the hard part. Unlearning things that you have done for years.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    From my experience, we didn't have much clinical time (I had a horrible clinical experience...most of them were in the evening, where the instructor had a day job and was more than glad to let us leave, even after only being there for two hours instead of the seven we were supposed to be there for), and I did hear that in RN school, you don't learn new things, but learn about the same subjects in more depth. There is the theory of WHY things are happening, where LPN school deals more with what you see, and then what you do.

    I suspect that being an LPN would be an advantage, because dealing with the patients and clinical would not be a shock to the system, you know the language and lingo used, and would know lab values, the disease process and such. Funny, some of the RN students in my school used to actually use LPN textbooks to study from because they were not as wordy and got straight to the point. The guy had a higher grade point average than those who studied from the RN text alone because he stated that he was able to synchronize the information better with out all of the mess. Whatever decision you make will be to your advantage, no matter what, I think. Best wishes in your nursing career!
  10. by   suzanne4
    I attended a hospital based Diploma program so had more clinical time than most others.

    And as stated above, programs now differ greatly in what is covered and the amount of clinical time. Even two programs in the same city will vary greatly, LPN to LPN, and RN to RN.

    So trying to pin down the difference between the LPN to the RN is like trying to gather the same information about an orange and an apple. They are both fruits and that is all that they have in similarities.
  11. by   Daytonite
    Basically, RNs and LPNs are taught the same basics of nursing care. Most LPN schools teach medication administration and treatments. They teach LPNs the same principles of nursing that the RN students are taught. The major different between the two categories is in the focus on critical thinking skills and the delegation and prioritization of nursing interventions and nursing tasks. RNs will have a broader choice of options when it comes to delegation than will an LPN. While LPNs may also focus on some critical thinking skill in their courses of study it will not be to the depth and extent with which RNs students are exposed. By law, there are also a few things that LPNs cannot do. Medicare will not permit written care plans to be done by LPNs. Most states will not permit LPNs to initiate blood transfusions either. Up until some years ago, IV therapy was only within the realm of RNs, but that is changing. Many states still will not allow LPNs to give any medications intravenously.
  12. by   suzanne4
    But even the basics that are being taught are varying significantly among schools, and in the same city.
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from luv4nursing
    Had I not had that option, Im not sure I would have made it thru the whole 2 year generic RN program. There was a long wait list for the generic program and none for the bridge. I may still be waiting to start the generic track now, but instead Im only a year away from my RN.
    What is a generic RN program? I went from LPN to RN and I definately learned alot. It's like Suzanne said "apples and oranges", similarities yes, differences also yes. So what is a generic RN program?
  14. by   Mudwoman
    Take 4 nurses..........all fresh out of school and just passed NCLEX...........

    One is an LPN/LVN

    One is an ADN RN

    One is an BSN RN

    One is a Diploma RN from a hospital program.

    The Diploma RN will hands down work circles around everyone. He/she shines as the most outstanding with clinical skills and management skills.

    Next will be the LPN with clinical skills.

    Day one the ADN and BSN RN are about equal.

    A year later, the RN's and LPN are further apart. The LPN has had limited opportunities compared to the RNs. The Diploma RN is still ahead, but the others are catching up quickly.

    2 years later, the BSN RN has caught up to the Diploma RN and may start to inch ahead of her due to opportunities offered because of the BSN. The ADN catches up to him/her and the LPN has lost ground due to limitations on their scope of practice compared to the others.

    3 years later, the BSN shines.