Would it be better to start in an LPN program or go straight RN?


832 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Med/Surg, ICU, ER. Has 9 years experience.

That is a question that is open to wide debate.... and the real answer depends on a multitude of factors; both personal and local environmental.

I am a current LPN student. I plan to become an RN as soon as humanly possible. Nursing will be my second career, and I have a family to support while I am in the education process.

It made more sense to me to do LPN school 1st, then get a decent job, then complete and ADN by distance learning. I'll eventually get my BSN, MSN, and become an NP at some point in time.

Due to my individual circumstances, a "stair step" method was the only logical course open to me.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I too did the stair-step thing because it was the only option at the time. However, I think that most will agree that there are far more options for RNs...so if you can do it this way, it would probably be more beneficial. Good luck.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

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

Since I had no real college background or none of the prerequisite classes completed, I had to enroll in LVN school to quickly make a career out of nursing. I was a working adult with a mortgage and other bills, so I could not take 2.5 to 3 years out of my life for RN school at the time. LVN school was only 1 year in length and would have been less of a hardship on me. However, I too plan to earn my RN license as soon as possible. The RN license will open the doors to more opportunities.

Hoping LVN2BSN

191 Posts

Specializes in Registry, all over the place. Has 1 years experience.

If you live in a major city, good luck getting into an RN program in under 2 years. Programs here in San Diego have at least a 2 year wait.

I too am taking the LVN route for financial reasons, I don't have 2 or 4 years to be out of work, I have a family. By the time I sit around and wait for a spot to open in an RN program, I could have been an RN for almost a year. Plus I would be losing valuable experience.

Nurse Renee`

2 Posts

I went the "quick-one-year LPN program" ten years ago. Thought it was great at the time. Did keep me in a job at all times. Married, spouse in school, two children. For the past 4 years, I have been trying to pick up the pieces to get my RN degree.

Two things you really need to know~

#1 is your current LPN classes taken at a Community college or at a Technological school? MAJOR DIFFERENCE!! Vo-Tech school, you get credits for how many hours you were in class, not credit hours per class. Like; A&P = 4 credits. I went the Vo-tech route not knowing this. Thus it's taken me several years to go back and repeat all my classes on a semester credit hour bases.

Personally, for me I wish a million times I would have went directly into an RN program.

#2 Do you want to work in doctor's offices or nursing homes mainly? If the answer is yes, then LPN is great. But like me, I want to work in Labor & Delivery. I have not found a hospital in several states I have lived in over the past 9 years that allow them anymore. You have to be an RN. Now I did work as an LPN on the post-partum floor, which was in TN.

You have to do what is best for you. Just make sure you will not have to repeat classes like I did. Plus, your Biology classes are usually only good for 5-7 years. Then you have to repeat them to start the RN program.

There are a lot of LPN-RN programs. Search around. Good luck.


RN 2 B

42 Posts

I'm in a RN program at Troy University in Montgomery. I've been debating about doing the LPN first because I have 2 kids, car payment, and other responsabilities. I commute over an hour to get to class, then I work in a tire plant. I was told that it would be better for me that I go LPN route since I don't have any medical training at all. Its been hard for me because I have to work and CNA's don't pay enough to pay the bills.

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