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LPN or Rn? Hard for me to decide


I'm a home health aid and make barely $9 an hour. I'm currently doing the last pre-reqs I need to get into the RN program in Hostos. But I'm really sick of struggling to pay bills and I have to work long hours. I'm worried about failing not because of not being educated enough but from stress or exhaustion. My union is helping me with tuition so that eases my mind a bit. I'm wondering if I get the RN degree can I still work as a HHA til I get a job? Should I go the LPN route? Will that make my chances of getting a job better? I want to be a nurse, my endgame is to work overseas in poor countries, but for now, I'm getting really tired of having to live off McDonald's Dollar Menu. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You can continue working as a HHA while you go to school as long as you feel that you can handle it. If your company allows you can certainly continue working as a HHA while you are an RN searching for a job - just be aware that you will be held to higher standards.

As for going to school to be an LPN or RN? Well, it depends on your area. Research the facilities that you are planning on applying to and see what they prefer...ADN RN, BSN RN, or LPNs. You could go to school to be an LPN and acquire your degree faster but, would you be employable, or would you be out of work? It all depends on what your research says.

Best wishes on whatever you decide.

Having worked with nurses in multiple foreign countries, I recommend going the RN route. Also, the RN will help you get jobs in the States. Just be sure to get your BSN. In many cities, hospitals won't interview candidates with 2-yr RN degrees (ie, no BSN).

You can also work as a CNA after your first semester of nursing school. If you get a part-time job in a hospital, on a floor you love, usually...if you love the floor and they love you, you'll have a better chance of getting hired full-time as an RN when you complete your program.

Best of luck to you.

I'd suggest going for RN because not all countries out there recognize LPN. I'm a foreign-educated nurse and all we have are BSNs and RNs in our country which is a developing one/third-world.

Hi. Definitely become an RN (with BSN), because LPN profession will be eliminated in the near future.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Hi. Definitely become an RN (with BSN), because LPN profession will be eliminated in the near future.

This rumour has been going around for years and discussion in the general discussion forum have been plentiful.

unless it is written in black somewhere I would take with a pinch of salt. It does appear however that many hospitals now prefer BSN to ADN

What are called practical nurses in the United States have different names, scopes of practice and education in other countries. In Canada for instance a practical nurse is one with what would be called an ADN degree here in the States. However they have their own scope of practice and IIRC are largely independent from RNs who are all BSN graduates.

In the UK/Commonwealth nations the equal would be an Enrolled Nurse. See: https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/nursing-qualifications-enrolled-267.html

Quite honestly if you are able to obtain financial aid from your union I'd go for the RN/BSN if at all possible. RNs are in demand all over the world whereas practical nurses can be not so much.


Specializes in Psych; Substance Abuse. Has 3 years experience.

Let me decide for you, RN lol. Seriously though, if you have the time and money I would suggest doing a RN program because of the employment climent for LPN and RNs alike. Though some new Associate degree RNs may be feel pinch, as a newer LPN with some experience in the field I think that things are much harder for us. IMO :) Good Luck

If you're school has an LPN-RN bridge program, then do the LPN and then immediately enter the RN program. It will take you the same amount of time at least that's the case at my community college. Many schools have LPN-RN bridge programs. LPN programs are usually 10 months long and cover similar material to the first year of a typical ADN program.