RPN or RN? help!

by Jayce2k15 (New) New


I have a few days to decide whether or not I want to attend BScN 4 year or the 2-year Practical Nursing program(In Canada). Could someone please tell me the pros and cons of each? I am so scared, I am 22 years, I'll be 26 when I graduate from a 4-year program which sucks. I know age doesn't matter but i just want to be independent and have a career.

I was planning to bridge after doing Practical Nursing but the requirement is to maintain B+ GPA with no failed courses. I doubt I can get a B to be honest and it'll prevent me from bridging to RN.

Thank you

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

It really depends on your goals. I did the RPN program because it was available part time and I was a single parent that needed to keep working. I have no plans to do the bridge and I am quite happy being an RPN.


10 Posts

Thanks Loriangel14. Is there really a big difference between RPN and RN besides their salary? If I may ask, what do you usually do during your shifts?

I am really interested working in Operating room, I am not sure if RPN are eligible to work in that department.

Edited by Jayce2k15


Specializes in critical care. 5 Articles; 4,547 Posts

You'll be 26 whether you're an RN or an RPN. If RN is really what you want, you don't want to be limited by your degree type, and you have the support necessary to go to school for the full 4 years, the go for the RN. It is typically harder to make the time and have the support needed to bridge later because life has a funny way of just HAPPENING.

xokw, BSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health. Has 5 years experience. 498 Posts

There is a difference, it isn't just salary. Also, because of how competitive the bridging programs are you generally need an average in the mid 80s.

RPNs can work in the OR but you usually require a 1-year post-grad certificate.

Edited by xokw

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

There is an OR program for RPNS. A friend took it and it was just part time for three months.

Besides salary there isn't a lot of difference between what I do and what the RNs do. I can start IVs, hang blood and access PICC lines. I just can't go into management. In my hospital I can't work in ICU.

What I do during a shift varies. I administer medications, do assessments, change dressings, wash , dress, feed and toilet people. I do admissions and discharges, put in catheters, start IVS, take out staples and stitches,teach and communicate with families and doctors. Most nurses spend a lot of time problem solving. And charting. Lots of charting.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 34 years experience. 1 Article; 39,472 Posts

Moved to the Canadian nursing program discussion forum


44 Posts

Can you confirm that you need no failed courses to get into a bridging program? I heard it depends on the school you apply to. If your final goal is to be a RN, then go for the RN program of course granted that you have gotten offers for both.


10 Posts

Yes, for Ryerson bridging program, I need to have no failed courses and GPA of 3.0 (B). I really want to do RN at the end because it'll open up more opportunities for me but I am so nervous because I already wasted 4 years, I really do not know what to do! I have 4 more days left to decide!


82 Posts

If you want to go RN, do it. Don't worry about age. I'm 25 now and going for a 2-year RN program which means I'll be 27 when I'm done. Granted, I also wasted time and most of my friends are already independent and have well paying careers. But I don't let that deter me from pursuing my goal which is to be a NP down the road. If being a nurse is what you'll do until you retire, then you have plenty of time to work and become independent.


10 Posts

Thanks for the responses guys! I have decided to take the RPN route. Who knows, maybe after RPN i'll take the RN route. I'll do my best to achieve high grades and be a good student nurse :)