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RN/LPN questions

kaylala9 kaylala9 (New) New


After years of trying to pursue a career as a teacher, my gears have shifted and I'm feeling drawn to the nursing profession. Unfortunately I didn't pull off an excellent GPA in my undergrad, so I have a bit of legwork to do to get a strong application together, but I am interested in doing an RN or an LPN. I don't really know what the difference is in the programs, but my cousin is an LPN and says she does a lot of the same tasks as an RN. My only concern is the difference in job opportunities between the programs (I want to work in a children's hospital and/or in paediatrics). So what is the difference in programs, and if I did an LPN and then decided for whatever reason to become an RN, what would it take to do that?

Also given that I've been on the path to teaching, I don't really have any experience working in a hospital or health care setting. I will get the experience, but would my teaching experience help on a supplemental application? And how much experience would you say is necessary for applications to nursing school?

Any other information is warmly welcomed :)

The type of facility and the state will determine the difference in tasks between an LPN and an RN. In long term care, many of the tasks are the same. In the hospital setting, there is a much bigger gap between what an LPN can do and what an RN can do. In most hospitals in my area, LPNs are used as techs or task nurses (putting in IVs, making beds, etc).

What I've learned making the transition from LPN to RN, is that although I did assessments as an LPN, it's vastly different than the assessments I perform now. LPNs are trained to be task nurses, whereas what I've learned in my bridge program has given me A LOT more knowledge and ability when it comes to Assessments and planning.

When I saw a symptom prior, I would associate it with one system. Now, I see a symptom, and I now see how it is associated with several systems, and I can see how all of those systems interact with each other and how to treat that symptom based on everything that's in play, not just the one system.

I think both roles are valuable, and I've loved my time as an LPN, but knowing what I know now, I would've gone straight to RN. I have many more job opportunities now, my pay is going up by over 20k/year, and I feel like the ceiling that was holding me down as an LPN is gone.

It really depends on you and your goals. There are MANY LPNs who are completely content with their roles and that's great. There are others who want to continue on. Neither one is the wrong path.

Consider your goals, your timeline, and your finances, then make the best choice for YOU.

Good luck, it's an exciting process!!