LPN or RN?


I'm sure this is a question that his been asked quite often, but some fresh advice would be appreciated. I'm currently in the process of upgrading and for the RN program in BC I need to upgrade quite a bit more then I would for the LPN program. However I have some time to kill cause I have some little ones at home still, and I figure it wont hurt to have all the necessary requirements for the RN program when I'm ready to apply. But my question is - is is it more practical to do my RN rather than LPN. I do want to work in a hospital setting and most LPN's I know where I'm located work in nursing homes. Although my one gf in alberta works in peds and she is an LPN. It's quite different in the area I live in BC. I've also heard that they are phasing out LPN's...The idea of only doing 2 years of school rather then 4 is somewhat of a reason it appeals to me. However, I just don't want to feel limited in my career as a nurse. What is your opinion on this?

loriangel14, RN

6,927 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

They are definitely not phasing out LPNs. I am in Ontario and PNs work in most areas of my hospital except for ICU and the chemotherapy clinic. Which path you take depends on your goals.


330 Posts

They are not phasing out LPNs but in BC right now they are generally cutting beds right now and a lot of the LPNs at my work are affected. In general LPNs have a better job prospect outside of BC I think.. According to many of my coworkers, whenever the healthcare funding goes down the LPN lines get affected even with seniority of 5-6 years. Many of my coworkers ended up losing their lines and had to move to a different unit at least once in their career. the scope of what you can do and where you can work are quite different. If you consider that path do think about relocating possibly in the future. I know many people who moved to even the Haida Gwai etc to the remote areas to pay off their student loans because of the low chance of getting a full time job at the hospitals after school. Even in the Okanagan or the North the scope may be a lot broader and LPNs are more in demand. Many LPNs are quite limited in what they can do here in BC's lower mainland hospital settings.


60 Posts

If you are interested in working in acute medicine or on a surgical ward in a hospital you can still do that as an LPN in BC. Within Fraser Health there are LPNs that work in emerg. But if your interests lie more in peds/maternity/critical care, or research, teaching or management, you should get you RN.