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LVN or RN and more

Nurses   (1,895 Views 14 Comments)
by Brandi8 Brandi8 (Member)

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I am enrolling in the Fall to take my pre courses for RN. I have to go slow because I have 2 young kids. Anyhow I have been thinking about the LVN since its faster. I have also heard its harder though and more intense because they cram it all in.

The RN will take me longer then 2 yrs because of the pre courses though. So really not looking forward to how long it will take.

What are the pros and cons of each? How much do LVN's normally make compared to RN's?

I am just not real sure about which one to go for. I really want to work in Labor and Delivery or mother baby unit. I have heard that is where everyone wants to work though so its hard to get in those units. Is this true?

Thanks for the help. Any tips or info would help.

Brandi

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4 Followers; 11,294 Posts; 76,484 Profile Views

I'm in California so I'm not sure what I'm aware of is going to help you. Every area is different.

What isn't different is that an RN and LVN/LPN have different roles. You need to research that in your area.

The RN is responsible for the initial physical assessment on a patient where I work. Even with ratios (5:1), that means if we have 10 patients and two nurses, one being an LVN, then I do the assessments on all 10 patients. LVN's cannot do initial assessments.

Also, in my area, LVN's work mostly in long term care. Not in labor and delivery at all. We do have two LVN's working in our acute area. We are a small hospital so our post-partum mom and babes are mingled in with med/surg patients (although always at the end of the hall in the same rooms far away from infectious pts.). So, LVN's can work with moms and babies but cannot do the initial assessments on either.

They also cannot push IV meds although they can flush a saline lock. If they are IV certified, which is a separate class from the LVN program, they may be able to start IV's but not always.

I went back to school at 38 and did pre-reqs for 2 years a little at a time - I had a previous degree so only needed my science classes. Then I applied to the nursing program when my youngest was in 1st grade. I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. I was 41 when I graduated. People told me that I'd be 41 either way, with or without my RN.

You really have to decide what you want to do - if it were me, I'd go for my RN. Especially since you want to be finished. If your goal is RN and you attain it through starting with LVN, you will have to complete an LVN to RN bridge .. and that takes additional time.

RN's do make more than LVN's for the most part - but it is different in every area.

Do a search for more threads like this . .. .there are lots of them and lots of advice.

Good luck!

steph

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kstec is a LPN and specializes in Geriatrics/Family Practice.

483 Posts; 8,374 Profile Views

I do not know where you live but check and see if any of the hospitals around you hire LPN's and if they do in L&D. Most hospitals only want RN's. I also had two small children and took the LPN route. I love it, but you are limited as far as working in hospitals and other areas. I work in a family practice clinic and a LTC facility. I work prn (as needed) for both places and really enjoy it. I just graduated last year and my original plan was to start bridging except now I'm kind of used to the money and really have no desire to go back to school and torture myself again or my family with having my nose in the books constantly. I think about it daily, but have made no decision. Good luck in whatever you choose and no matter what you'll will have a job, it just may not be the ideal one you want until you get your RN.

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34 Posts; 1,435 Profile Views

I live in TX. West TX. I didnt think of putting that in. LOL So did anyone take some of there pre reqs along with the nursing part? I was thinking of just doing all mine and then appling for the nursing part. I think it would be really difficult to worry about pre courses while doing all the nursing courses and clinicals.

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TheCommuter is a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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I live in North Texas (Fort Worth) and earn $19 at a nursing home with slightly over 1 year of experience out of school. You will encounter a hard time landing a job in L&D or baby nursery with an LVN license, as RNs are preferred in these areas. Since you are in West Texas, the LVN pay rates will probably be lower than those offered in DFW or Houston, unless you are in El Paso.

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34 Posts; 1,435 Profile Views

Thanks.

So tell me, how was LVN school? I have heard it is more difficult.

BRandi

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TheCommuter is a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 316,709 Profile Views

Thanks. Yes $19 for a LVN sounds about right but I am talking about pay for a RN in the Hospital. I am thinking about the LVN too but I was referring to RN pay. Sorry I guess that was kinda confusing.

So tell me, how was LVN school? I have heard it is more difficult.

BRandi

In DFW, new RN grads earn between $19 and $21 in the hospitals, and between $23 and $25 in nursing homes. If you work night shift or weekends at the hospital, you will earn up to a $6 differential per hour. Again, I presuppose that the pay rates are lower for much of West Texas.

LVN school is not harder or more academically challenging than RN school. However, you must manage your time well and have the capability to learn many things in a very compressed amount of time. I would opine that the LVN program is fast-paced. I had tests and quizzes at least twice a week, if not more. I attended a private 12 month program.

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futurecnm specializes in ED.

558 Posts; 4,669 Profile Views

Go for RN if you want OB, but be prepared that you may change your mind many times in nursing school which area you are most interested in. I went into it wanting OB also (as did over half of my class!) and many change their minds and find other areas. But for sure take the pre-reqs before nursing school.

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23 Posts; 774 Profile Views

In my opinon I would go the LVN to either RN to BSN. It will take some work but itll be faster. Alot of nursing programs are impacted so even though you finish your pre-reqs it could be about a 2 year wait just to get in. In the mean time you could be well on your way to being a nurse through other means.

I guess it just depends on what kind of time schedule you want. The LVN route requires a few steps before hand though, first youll have to be a CNA (which is anywhere where 2 months to 6 months of school) then get your license as a LVN, then apply to LVN-RN classes which will take about two years (LVN to BSN is the same and you get the degree to boot!)

Either way keep taking those pre-reqs and if you decided to do LVN-RN/BSN check the schools pre-reqs for that specific program (they might want you to take stats or an extra eng class)

Hope everything works out for the best!!! and goodluck

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Smackdown specializes in ER, ICU, Med-Surg.

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I also live in West Texas (Lubbock). I don't work in Labor and Delivery but I do know they prefer RNs to LVNs. They definitely pay RNs more than LVNs. It is a competitive field - anything involving pediatrics or babies usually is - but it is very possible to get a job there right out of school. I have multiple friends who got jobs in L&D or NICU or postpartum/antepartum after graduation.

If you just need to get in and get out to start making some $$$ then go for LVN. But, if you plan for this to be a long term career and want to make more money, go for RN. The starting pay for the hospitals in Lubbock for a new RN is around $23/hr. I don't know what it is for an LVN, but it is definitely less. I graduated form an RN (BSN) program, so I may be biased, but I'd encourage you to go for your RN if you can. RN programs are very time consuming and difficult, as are LVN programs. I don't think you could classify one as "harder" than the other.

In regards to what one of the people above me posted about RN and LVN roles - that may be true in some places, but not in West Texas. Here an LVN does pretty much all the roles of an RN - with less pay. All throughout nursing school they would remind us "Here in West Texas LVNs do this..... but remember tis not like that in the rest of the world!" It make it comical to study for NCLEX about the "roles of an LVN and delegating to an LVN".

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TheCommuter is a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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The LVN route requires a few steps before hand though, first youll have to be a CNA (which is anywhere where 2 months to 6 months of school) then get your license as a LVN, then apply to LVN-RN classes which will take about two years (LVN to BSN is the same and you get the degree to boot!)
When I attended a Southern California LVN program 2 years ago, I never needed the CNA certification.

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4 Followers; 11,294 Posts; 76,484 Profile Views

In most programs, LVN or RN, you do not have to be a CNA first.

I had to completely finish all my pre-reqs prior to applying - it seems wrong to me to be able to do otherwise but I've read about it on allnurses before.

LVN is not harder than RN.

For LVN's in other parts of the country - who legally is responsible for the initial assessment? LVN's are not licenced to do that here in CA. Only RN's can do that.

steph

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