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LPN vs. RN


I guess I am really just look for advice..so let me explain my story then see if anyone has any to give!

I have been in college for 3 years but could never settle on a degree so I took a year off and did some soul searching and decided nursing is what I really want to do. I did enroll in an RN program but I have a yr. of pre. reqs to do while waiting to get into the clincals and then I can start by the time it's all said and done I will have 3 more years of school till I'm done this upsets me on every level possible just because I would have been in school for 6 years for a degree that takes most 2, but hey thats only my own fault...my problem now is that I really dont want to wait 3 years to have my career..& Ive been married now for almost 2 and I am ready to start a family...The idea of waiting for 3 years is so depressing to me..The only reason really why in the beginging I choose RN over LPN was because so many people said it would be pointless to be an LPN when you can be an RN and make so much more money ( no offense to LPN's thats just what other ppl said)...But I just don't know maybe in my situation it DOES make sense because I could get started on a family..give the kids some time to grow up then go back to school for RN or possibly more...I know I wont make as much money as I would as an RN but it's not about money really..as long as I have enough to support my family and LIKE what I'm doing I'll be happy I really believe it's the little things in life that matter the most..I guess a question would be for anyone who was an LPN first then went back to be an RN..was it worth it? or do you wish you would have done RN to start with? How long do LPN-to RN programs typically take? If you were in my situation what would you do & why?

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this and reply :)


Specializes in Geriatrics, Telemetry, Med-Surg. Has 5 years experience.

Let me start by saying that you shouldn't feel bad for spending 6 years on a 2 year degree. I did the same. When I started college, I didn't put my heart and soul into it, so I didn't get very good grades (mostly B's, with a few A's and a C or two). My GPA was too low to get into the nursing program, so I had to retake some classes in order to bring up my GPA. It didn't work. I ended up transferring to a private university (5 times more expensive, but the admission standards weren't as high). I took a year off when I got pregnant with my daughter. When I finally put my mind to it, I did very well in my actual nursing classes and graduated on the Dean's List. It took longer than anticipated, but I made it.

If you're not sure about RN now, you can start with LPN. Quite honestly, there isn't THAT much of a pay difference. At least, not in my area. LPNs start around $15/hr and RNs start around $18/hr. LPNs are more limited, though. The hospital I work at will not fire LPNs that have been employed for years, but they will no longer hire them. RNs that have an ADN are limited as well, since there is a push for BSN educated nurses.

If you start with LPN, you can always go back for RN. The school I graduated from offers a LPN-RN program. It's a year and a half program, if you go full-time.

Bottom line is, do what makes you happy. If you want to do your schooling in steps, there's nothing wrong with that. You'll still be a nurse. :)

I am a LPN now, and was the BEST decision I every made, after I graduated i started working, and taking one pre-rec. at a time for the RN program. I start a RN program in January.

I did a one year LPN program

Graduated spring 2009, started pre-recs. January 2010

I start a ADN RN program January 2013, and graduated December 2015

My plan is to continue one step at a time

Good luck!!!!