23 mother of 2..don't know if should be RN or LPN?



i recently got married and just had a new baby girl. we also have a 5 year old. i have always wanted to be a nurse but started a family right out of high school. i'm 23 years old and have decided that it's now or never. my husband has very good paying job and can afford to be the bread winner. he's stressing that i go ahead and go to college. i don't know if it's better for me to get into an lpn program or become an rn. can anyone help.



158 Posts

I think it's best to go for your RN. It's difficult to go back to school once you've graduated and are working. :)


24 Posts

I would say go for your RN. I'm also 23, with 2 kids, but i'm going for my LPN. Even though my husband makes good money as well, its not really enough to float us. We have bridge programs that will allow you to "test out" and do your RN in a year. Of course-- either way you look at it-- its still 2 years for your associate degree, or longer depending on how much time you have for school. And a lot of our hospitals, LTF, etc have tuition reimbursement programs and scholarship programs that will help me get to where i want to go.

As an RN, you have better job opportunities and better pay, but you'll be going to school longer than an LPN.

Weigh your options and good luck with what you decide. Also get pamphlets, check out your surrounding school websites, etc. to get a feel what the workload, atmosphere, requirements for admission will be like. Its a lot of work either way but well worth it in the end.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

Hi! You have the same birthday as my grandmother!

Well, there's no doubt about the fact that as an RN you will make more money. Let me give you a quick run down as I see things.

LPNs or LVNs, in general, can technically do most of the same procedures than an RN does (note that I said technically). That means they give medications, change dressings, start IV's, and in same places they can take doctor's orders. They do not, however, make the same wage and for many LPNs and LVNs this is a big bone of contention and a reason many of them decide to go back to get their RNs. LPNs and LVNs are the backbone of the nursing homes. They are the charge nurses who look after and direct the care of the nursing home patients. And, they do a heck of a job of it, too. Again, a big bone of contention is the wage.

Now, I bring up this wage issue because a charge nurse has a huge responsiblity. She's a manager, supervisor, a shoulder to cry on, a stamper out of small fires. Those LPNs and LVNs who work as charge nurses know exactly what I'm talking about. In general, I repeat, in general, they are not taught these skills in their nursing programs. These are skills they either possess naturally or have learned in their lifetime. It kind of sums up the title, Practical Nurse.

RNs are trained in their programs to not only technically perform nursing procedures, but are taught to plan, organize, prioritize, manage and supervise the care of patients and other healthcare personnel. Their training focuses on experiencing a broad range of care in a variety of settings including acute hospitals, outpatient clinics, public health, community health and home health. As they progress into higher levels of their education they focus on advanced nursing knowledge, research activities and independent practice. The training of an RN is greatly different from an LPN/LVN. RNs are constantly taught to think about how to integrate the patients treatment with his disease process so that it makes some kind of rational sense. RNs are expected to know the common dosages of drugs and their side effects and the expected outcomes of treatments. They are expected to report to physicians when a treatment or medication is not achieving it's desired affect. RNs are expected to be thinking on their feet at all times on the job.

RNs make a higher wage. The opportunity to work double shifts and extra shifts is usually right in your face. Agency work, being a PRN and floating is not all that it's cracked up to be--not everyone is jumping at the chance to take these positions--you have to wonder why. (I am not putting down those that do it--I know some of you love it.) If you work in the OR you will be on call on your time off. However, you will be well paid if you get called in. So, is the opportunity to get floated to another unit and to work every other weekend and at least half of the major holidays during the year. In some hospitals RNs are expected to work mandatory overtime. You can lose your license if you walk off your job in a angry snit because it is considered patient abandonment. Some places make their RNs give up their vacations because there is no one to replace them. If the patient down the hall codes at the end of your shift you do not pick up your purse and say "see ya" and go home. And, I don't care what kind of baloney they tell nurses in school, the hospitals don't care if you have a cold, they want your butt clocked in and working your shift--put a mask on.

Only you can decide which one is for you. You know your family situation and finances. LPN/LVN takes a year to a year and a half. RN takes two years (it will actually be a bit more) for an Associate degree or 4 or 5 years for a bachelor's degree. I went from an A.A. to a B.S.N. It took me 11 years to get my B.S.N. so I generally tell people who want to be an RN to get their B.S.N. right off the bat.

Specializes in Inpatient Acute Rehab.

There are many RN programs that will let you take the boards for LPN midway through the RN program. You might consider that.


17 Posts

Consider this , a LPN here in NJ has one year to goto RN as long as you have an 85 or better average right out of school or 5 years on the job. Many LPN's go the route of PN first because the experience you gain is not teachable in the classroom. Think about it, you will have preformed and used many skills long before they are utilized by fellow RN students. You also will have practical in the work arena information that the others in the class will not. In term of wages instead of RN new grad you are RN new lic. with LPN experience = higher wages !!!!

I also believe that with 2 kids a house to keep and schooll will be a fast track to burn out, not good!! In my talking to many RM students , they all agree that 2.5-3 years is more practical time frame than just 2 years but with LPN you can really only do 2 years and come out with a more relaxed disposition and better wages to boot.


175 Posts

I had to choose whether I wanted to go for my LPN or RN almost two years ago. I decided to be a nurse when I was pregnant. I had just had my 19th birthday and gave birth to my daughter. Three weeks after her birth I was registering for school. My aunt is a RN and her advice was you can bust your rear for over a year to become a LPN, who gets paid less and ends up going back to school, or you can go straight through a RN program and make the dollars. Im only 20 and my plan is to be a RN by the time Im 24. I decided that Im going straight through the RN for my ADN, then Im going to continue taking classes so that I can get my BSN while making some $$. I start nursing school Fall 06 (or if Im lucky someone will drop out of the fall 05 class :rolleyes: ) and am currently taking A&P I and A&P II (if I pass the first one) in the 5 week summer course.

Take it from a mother of one (well three if you include my fiance and my little sister), fulltime employee, and was full time now part time student, if I can do it so can you. As the others said do what is best for you. Only you know what that is. and since you have the full support (moral and financial) of your husband I say take it and run!! Go straight through and dont stop til you get your BSN.


39 Posts

Hey I also am 23 with 2 kids -=) I am starting the LPN program in Septemeber. I decided to do LPN first to see if i really enjoy nursing and its a 12 month program sooo with the kids and everything i will be graduated by the time they start school.....but if you really like nursing as much as you say, and you have lots of help to be able to get all the studying in the and RN requires I would go for that then......I figured since I was still young we also can bridge over to Rn, I would pursue that while they both were in school

Good Luck To you

Have you taken the NET yet ?


10 Posts

Hey sweetmom! sorry I havent kept in touch lately, my email got deleted. Anyways, I also got into the LPN program and I start spring 2006. I decided that it will be faster that way too if I decide to do RN later because RN has a waiting list that is 1-2 yrs wait. Plus, I could work as a LPN while doing my RN. I took my NET too, it wasn't that hard. The reading one was the one that got to me though, that part was tougher than what I expected. Well, are you thinking about doing RN or LPN now?


39 Posts

Oh hey girl-=) thats okay....Congrats to you :balloons:

Aren't you excited to know you will be starting :yelclap:

I start in Sept for the LPN program im doing the 12 month day program...I am sooooo nervous :chair: haha.....but Good LUck to you...Did they tell you that you had to read math for meds......we have to go buy that now and finish it ahhhhh LOL.......talk to you soon


6 Posts

:thankya: everyone that responded to my post. thanks for the good advise :)


9 Posts

Hello I am 27 with 2 kids also. I am currently going to school for Medical assistant. I am also looking for LPN or RN. But I am thinking on going to HoHokus for LPN thats for a year 1/2. Cause right after I finish MA I am going to go get my certificate and then start working and go PT for LPN. Cause am not finacialy stable right now so thats what am thinking on doing. I am also in a bind cause I want to work for Labor and Delivery(mother and baby). I live in NJ and I herd that the Department I want to work for doesnt take LPN. But I dont know if somebodys knows please let me know thank you.

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