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LPN or RN?

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am writing to you to see if this makes sense to do.

I am a 34 y/o Mom and Wife with a 2y/o daughter and pregnant with my son due in July. I already have a Bachelor's and a Masters in Health Administration.

I currently work for a wonderful hospital organization as a CNA. I'm trying to not go into any more student loan debt while obtaining my Nursing degree.

My question to you is I want to get my Nursing journey started. Would it make sense to get my LPN license and risk losing my close commute job to more than likely have to work at a further location with my current job? Or wait another 3 years and get my RN degree?

I don't really see many LPN positions within this organization. Which also makes me question is it worth it to get my LPN license. I don't want to leave this organization at all.

I hope I have made this clearer in writing than it is in my head.

Thank you for your time.


Dear Future Nurse,

Congrats on your pregnancy and new addition to your family!

The best career course is to get your RN. LPNs are limited by scope and job opportunities.

If you plan to work acute care, you need your RN. Be sure and get your BSN as that is becoming increasingly important.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

You don’t need to wait 3 years to get an RN. First, it sounds like you have many prerequisites already done so that you can apply to an RN program, making it much shorter. Second, there are one year accelerated BSN programs and 1 1/2 year accelerated BSN programs that are part time. Third, there are RN and BSN online programs that are much quicker - like Excelsior College and other ones. You do need to have an LPN, Paramedic or other related healthcare license to apply. Fourth, there are also programs you can enter to quickly get an RN or BSN or NP whereby you don’t need any healthcare experience at all. Do your research.

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