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I'm considering going for my LPN. I'm just curious as to whether its better to get your LPN first or your RN first? Thanks

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Depends on what you want to do. What do you want to end up with? An RN? Then go for it now.

I work with an awesome LVN who is limited in her scope and cannot do patient assessments. I would never want to have to ask an RN to do my assessment. She is perfectly capable and in fact more capable then some RN's I've run into.

I'm still fairly new to all this nursing stuff as I had NO background in medicine and went back to school in my late 30's. I've been a RN for 5 1/2 years now and I still do not understand how the LVN role materialized. I've been meaning to do some historical reading on this and since this is the second time I've addressed this issue, I guess it is time to start digging.

In my area of the country, LVN's mostly work in long-term care centers, which is a wonderful and honorable place to work. Taking care of our elders is important. But if you want to branch out and work in critical care areas, you have to start IV's and hang IV meds and do patient assessments and that takes being an RN.

So, again . . what is your goal? NICU? CCU? OR? ER?

It doesn't take much longer to go for your ADN RN. At my school it was one year difference.

Off to dig . . . . :) Best wishes

klone, MSN, RN

14,696 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

I definitely think being an LPN limits what you're able to do. For instance, at our local hospital, they just don't hire LPNs, period. Pay for LPNs is about 50-75% that of RNs, as well. I'd say go for that additional year and get your RN.


162 Posts

If you have your RN there is no reason to get an LPN since the RN is a step up from the LPN. Should you get your LPN first, it wouldn't hurt especially if you need to stop in the middle of the program. Usually, at a community college, in a nursing program after the first year you can become and LPN and the second year, you would be working on your RN.

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

If you have the time & the ability to do so.....go for the RN degree. It will get you much further in a career. LPN's do a lot, but they don't get paid well. There is talk of phasing them out of the hospital role...although with the nursing shortage, they are unable to do that at this time. That's not to say that they can't do it in the future though.

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