LPN or RN? How to choose?

  1. I'm sitting here looking at the LPN Program and the RN Program my CC offers. I can't decide which to pursue. On the one hand with the LPN, I'll graduate sooner, but make less money. How did you choose LPN or RN? I worry mostly about my own abilities with the Pre Req's. I havn't been in school in nearly 6 years, so I have some fears I won't be good enough for the RN program. What are the major differences in the 2? Thanks!!
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    About JNEB

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 13

    4 Comments

  3. by   GN1974
    Go with the RN program if you can. It is hard sometimes to get back to school if you realize as an LPN that you want more. I was an LPN for almost ten years before doing a bridge program. While I enjoyed my time as an LPN, there are so many more opportunities as an RN. Upward mobility is rather limited as an LPN. I also saw, in my part of the US, a phasing out of LPN's in acute care settings. With an increase in acuity more hospitals are trying to shift to RN only nurses. If you like homecare or LTC then you may be happy as an LPN...because they likely will never be phased out of these two areas. The pay can be a rather significant difference. As a Graduate (RN) nurse my pay has already risen $4.00 in base and with differentials over $11.00. I also feel like RN's get more respect in general. A positive for the LPN is it is entry level and if you find you really don't like nursing--you aren't out as much. It all really depends on you...but I say if you have the time and funding go for the RN.
    Karen
    Last edit by GN1974 on Apr 4, '05
  4. by   porterwoman
    Will you be working while going to school? If so, you could do the LPN program first, then work as an LPN while completing the RN bridge. You'd make a little more money going this route than if you worked as, say, a nurse aide during 2 yrs of ADN program. It also may take a little longer.
    I also HIGHLY recommend completing all the non-nursing curriculum before applying to the nursing program. It really has helped me to be able to focus on nursing classes alone, without having to also study for micro, A&P, english tests, etc...plus, while you complete your prereqs, that gives you more time to talk to nsg faculty, other nurses, nsg students, to decide if LPN or RN program is best for you right now. Good luck! You really can do this!!! :flowersfo
    Rebecca, cheerleaderwoman
  5. by   JNEB
    Thanks ladies!
    I won't be working while going to school. I really want to go full steam with the RN program, just a little worried is all. I have 3 years here left before we move back home and I want to get all the Pre Reqs done before then. I really do want this so badly. I've waited 6 years to go to college, and I regret waiting so bad.
  6. by   live4today
    Quote from JNEB
    I'm sitting here looking at the LPN Program and the RN Program my CC offers. I can't decide which to pursue. On the one hand with the LPN, I'll graduate sooner, but make less money. How did you choose LPN or RN? I worry mostly about my own abilities with the Pre Req's. I havn't been in school in nearly 6 years, so I have some fears I won't be good enough for the RN program. What are the major differences in the 2? Thanks!!
    First I'd like to encourage you to stop feeling as if you are not "good enough for the RN program". Stop what you are doing, go stand in front of a mirror, and forgive yourself for even thinking you are not "good enough".

    While still looking at yourself in the mirror, make good eye contact with yourself, and say the following words: "I, JNEB, am good enough as a person to become whatever I want to become! Nothing can stand in my way of doing whatever I want to do, including becoming the best damn nurse I know I can be."

    The difference between being a LPN vs. RN are established by each state's board of nursing guidelines. You can call your current state's board of nursing, ask for the legal department, and tell them you want to become a nurse so could they send you a copy of the differences their state establishes for the two types of nurses. They will be more than happy to oblige you.

    I've worked in some states where the LPN does everything the RN does except IV push meds. I've worked in states where LPNs have been prohibited from starting IVs, giving IV push meds, and doing initial admission assessments on patients. It all depends on the given state's laws for each nurse. In many rural areas hospitals, LPNs are not limited in their scope of practice. At least they weren't back in April 1992 when I did a travel nurse assignment in Williamston, NC.

    I've worked as an agency nurse for Indiana Medical University Center where they allow their Patient Care Techs to draw labs and discontinue IV sites, monitor IV sites, but if those same PCTs go to another Indiana hospital, they may not be allowed to perform the same tasks.

    So there is no cut and dry "do and don't" national scope of practice for nurses. It's all up to the state, the county, the hospital, the demand for nurses in a certain region, etc.

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