LPN to RN....(i know but)


I know this question has been asked before but i did a search and came up empty...(sigh).

What are the pros and cons of getting an LPN and then going for the RN?

I guess one of the Pros would be graduating school quicker and hopefully finding work faster...

-What are the cons?

-Anyone here try this route?

THANKS very much!


14 Posts

i am currently trying to get my RN now as far as the cons in my experience most RNs look down on LVNs because they have to also be responsible for not only their own load of patients but also the LVNs that is in a Acute setting . In the skilled nursing environment LVNs RNs pretty much the same in the SNF its more or less just "Nurse" but obviously the gap in pay will always be there. If you can help it go straight RN , i wish i did.:trout:


38,333 Posts

There are two quick pros that I think of: (1) Many schools have a special LPN to RN option that is easier to get into and there is little to no waiting involved; (2) You can use your LPN license to work, make money, and get invaluable experience while you are working your way through the prerequisites and nursing school for RN. A Con would be to choose this route if the nursing schools in your area do not have waiting lists or are not as difficult to enter (highly unlikely).

I'm an LPN who had to go LPN first because my school required it. I chose to work and go to school for the RN part time.

I'd go straight through. I do not think LPN's are well-respected. Maybe RN's aren't, either, but I can't speak to that. And the money difference makes up the lack of earnings within two years.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I did the LPN first because I wasn't sure I even wanted to be a nurse and figured I could get through 12 months of anything and at least have something to show for it, lol. Fortunately I do want to be a nurse. Now I'm doing an RN bridge program and the truth is that I am still glad I have my LPN. Plenty of people are on the verge of failing and knock wood I'm not one but they will have nothing to show for their 1 1/2 years of hard work. Its kind of a security blanket for me and like you said a decent income in the mean time also. Good luck with whatever you decide. Jules

Lovely_RN, MSN

1,122 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

I'm doing my LPN now because it's required for my school's 1-1 program. If I choose to stay on after this year I will have my RN in another 11 months. The advantage is that I will have only been out of work for 1 year instead of 2 and I took my RN pre-reqs at the same time as I did my LPN so transitioning is not a problem.

The disadvantages that I can think of are if you go to a vocational school and have no pre-reqs completed for the RN. It's not a terrible thing but then you have to go through more school to get your pre-reqs and you might have to wait a while to qualify for an LPN-RN bridge program. The regular ADN programs usually only give you one semester worth of nursing credit and then you have to do 3 more semsters with the non-LPN students.

BSN programs at colleges give you nothing for your LPN education, it would be like starting as a Freshman.

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,751 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Sometimes it's cheaper and faster, there are lesser pre-reqs and often lesser waiting lists, which is why a lot of people get the LPN first. Many folks can only afford school for the one year and need to get working. So the advantage is it puts you in the workforce faster and maybe they can take advantage of tuition reimbursement, and other programs facilities offer.

One disadvantage is sometimes the job market for LPNs is limited for new grads in hospitals and other areas. Another disadvantage is the low pay compared to RNs. Here new grad LPNs make $8-10 per hour less, especially in hospitals where suppy exceeds demands and LPNs barely make more than nurse techs do.


216 Posts

Specializes in Surgical Nursing.

For me the pros are:

Ability to start making a decent income while still finishing school

Exposure and experience in the nursing world

Able to say "i've been working in this arena for x amount of time" when going in for RN interview

Not having to wait another 2 years to wear scrubs ;)and call myself a nurse


Having to pay out of my pocket

Note- as for the entire "bleap" about LVNS are lower than rns, lvns are this, lvns are that... I could care less and I'm proud of everything I am/will be. If anyone has a problem with you being an lvn and not an RN just tell em the old line i've seen on here many times... "why aren't u a doctor?" woo yah!

People will say things to you about being an LVN, but then again... people never shut up!

Hope this helped!


72 Posts

Specializes in Acute,Subacute,Long-term Care. Has 14 years experience.

when i went to college for nursing, i wanted to go for my rn. i basically feel i was talked out of it by the nursing counselor because of my score on some pre test i had to take. she thought i would do better in the field of assisting such as a cna or med aide. i went on for my lpn and had a gpa of 4.0 in all but one semester and only missed that by a few points and i graduated with honors.

i wished i would have just went for my rn. now, i don't know that i would be able to go for my rn, mainly because i would have to work and go to college at the same time. yes i know that many do this, i'm just not sure that i would be able to, or that i would be able to afford it. when i went for my lpn i was married and didn't have to work while attending classes.

i'm a good nurse and have been told by many that i should return for my rn by many fellow nurses that i have worked with. i'm scared to do it though for reasons mentioned above. i'm happy in my position as an lpn, so will more than likely stay where i'm at.

i feel that i was misled in a way and should have done what i set out to in the beginning. i guess my advice would be, if you want to become an rn then do that and don't let anyone talk you out of it and going into a lesser degree in the field. :nono:


TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

The benefits of being an LVN/LPN:

1. You can earn decent money and work flexible hours as you pursue the RN licensure on your own time. I have Monday through Friday off to attend school full-time, yet my workplace pays me for a 40 hour work week to work 16 hour double shifts on Saturday and Sunday. I also earned a little less than $47,000 last year, which is not too shabby in the geographic region where I currently reside.

2. You will have a marketable advantage over the generic RN students who have never had any exposure to healthcare or basic nursing skills and theories. LPN-to-RN bridge programs typically have more lenient admissions policies than the generic RN programs.

3. LPN jobs are abundant in many areas. I faxed my resume to 9 different places last year, and promptly received 5 callbacks from hiring managers who wanted to interview me. At this point in my career, I do not even have much experience. With a license, you should always have a job.

The drawbacks of being an LPN/LVN:

1. There's less prestige involved with being an LPN. If the RN says something, the public and society automatically bestow more credibility upon the statements they make. A handful of RNs do not enjoy working with LPNs because they allege we're incapable of critical thinking, lacking in knowledge, and "robotic." Of course, we're not all the same, and most of us are damn good.

2. The LPN normally earns less than the RN. For example, I earn $5 less per hour than the RNs who work alongside me. We're functioning in a very similar capacity, but the LPN is paid less because we are lower on the licensure food chain.

3. Some areas have limited opportunities for LPNs due to limited scopes of practice. You may never work in a critical care unit, ER, or certain acute care specialties with your LPN licensure, as RNs are overly preferred in these areas. Some places have stopped hiring LPNs in hospitals, so the only remaining opportunities in these states are nursing homes, home health, rehab, skilled nursing, hospice, dialysis, psych nursing, and so forth.


258 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Going along with the poster who said "most RNs look down on LVNs", it irritates me when RNs don't recognize, refer to, &/or acknowledge LPNs as nurses. For example, some RNs(I work with) will walk into a patient's room at the same time as me and say "I'm xxxxx and I'll be your nurse today"....totally disregarding that I am in full hearing range &/or just finished introducing myself to the patient as "one of your nurses".

I'm sure the patient has no clue what was just said, let alone may not care, but to me it's important to be recognized & referred to as a nurse by the RN, just like they want to be by everyone else.

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,751 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

It is indeed irritating when RNs look down upon LPNs.

As an RN I take exception to the stereotype that MOST RNs look down upon LPNs. Most of us do not. Most of us recognize the value of LPNs as nurses on our team. General statements about most of us aren't true.

Also, please note that RN bashing won't be allowed in this thread as that's too off topic and there are other threads about that. In the context that SOME RNs disrespect LPNs that might be considered a disadvantage to advise the op, but let's not go off on a tangent like the post above in this thread please.


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