Can anyone explain the differences between ADN and LPN/LVN?

  1. So I'm looking into other options for me to get into nursing since I got rejected from all the nursing schools I've applied to for a Bachelor's of Nursing (I'm from California) and after researching, an Entry Level Master's program is not going to be an option for me because of my grades and I am not sure about Accelerated Bachelor's of Science in Nursing/Second Bachelor's cause of my grades.

    I was wondering what the differences were between an Associate's Degree in Nursing and LVN/LPN programs and if you think I'll get in with my stats.

    My science prereqs (Chem, Anatomy/Phys 1+2, Microbio): 3.13 (if you include the +/-)
    My non science prereqs (english, comm, philosophy, stats, psych): 3.48 (if you include the +/-)

    Current cumulative GPA: 3.59

    TEAS score: 86.7
    HESI: 86.7
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    About jc109

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 27; Likes: 4
    from CA , US

    7 Comments

  3. by   w0ntonsoup
    With those stats I would apply to an ADN degree, both ADN and LPN are nurses but ADN is already RN level, the pay will be higher. LPN is good too but I believe it is more suited for those who have not yet completed the prereqs for an ADN/RN program. With ADN youll be one step closer to BSN which you can do online, while with LPN you have more steps to go through.
  4. by   verene
    LPN/LVN is a practical/vocational nurse. The scope and pay are both a bit lower compared to a registered nurse, and job opportunities may be highly restricted in some geographic areas. It's a good option to get your foot in the door - particularly if you want to work outside of acute care. (e.g. home health, hospice, or long-term care). The main advantages are that the LPN is a certification not a degree (though some community colleges may offer it as a degree program), which means fewer pre-reqs, shorter-time to completion (less than 12 months for many), and less cost. This can also be a good way to find employment while continuing to work on nursing coursework for either ADN or BSN. (Some programs may allow students to test for LPN along the way to either of the other degrees).

    ADN are associates degree level prepared registered nurses. ADN prepared RNs may do everything that a BSN prepared RN can do (more or less, there may be some very minor exceptions based on state or facility regulations). The cost of ADN programs is typically low, and coursework may be completed in 2-3 years. ADN programs are more likely to offer some flexibility (e.g. weekend or part-time options) for working adults. The biggest challenges are because they are lower cost the competition for seats can be extreme in some locations, making ADN seats potentially harder to get into than BSN in some locations. In urban environments with multiple nursing schools, employers - particularly hospitals- may hire limited or no applicants with an ADN or may require any new hires with an ADN sign a contract to complete a BSN-bridge program in a certain time frame (ex: 5 years).

    How your stats line up will depend on where specifically you are applying (different schools may evaluate different criteria) and what area of the country you are in. In a competitive environment it can be difficult to get into nursing programs at all levels. In a less competitive environment you may have your pick of LPN, ADN and BSN programs.
  5. by   jess.mont
    There isn't anything that a BSN RN can do that an ADN RN can't do. All RNs have the same scope of practice in each individual state.
  6. by   gere7404
    Quote from jess.mont
    There isn't anything that a BSN RN can do that an ADN RN can't do. All RNs have the same scope of practice in each individual state.
    The difference between a BSN and ADN is about a year of upper division courses unrelated to nursing (I took a bunch of 400-level psych classes), some leadership, and some social science nursing courses to give a better understanding of social determinants of health in populations and their effects on population health and health outcomes. Basic hands on skills and scope of practice are exactly the same.
  7. by   jess.mont
    Yes - exactly. Research shows nurses with BSNs help improve patient outcomes, but I just wanted to clarify what was said upthread about differences in scope of practice.
  8. by   verene
    Quote from jess.mont
    There isn't anything that a BSN RN can do that an ADN RN can't do. All RNs have the same scope of practice in each individual state.
    The specific difference I was thinking of is that in Oregon a BSN prepared RN qualifies as a Qualified Mental Health Professional, and an ASN prepared RN does not. This is more or less meaningless unless one works as a RN in a psychiatric setting in Oregon, AND that setting that has RNs doing assessments that require a QMHP. It's the reason why one behavior health agency in Oregon I know of will only hire RNs who have a BSN or BSN in-progress.
  9. by   jess.mont
    Interesting - thanks for the information!

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