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Should I get my LPN before my RN?

Updated | Posted
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I need an advice because I'm a bit confused. I got a spot for Accelerated RN program in Ontario and LPN program in Alberta. I currently reside in Alberta but from the little research I did I was told LPNs get jobs faster than RN do because there are more LPN jobs than RN. That I can go through LPN route to gather experience then pursue RN later though I just graduated from nursing assistant program. I don't know which route is the best to take as per getting a job after graduation and gaining practical experience.

Dear Confused,

Your end goal is to get your RN, and you have a spot in an RN program. I would go for it.

There is nothing wrong with being an LPN, or taking an LPN to RN route. But LPN to RN is a circuitous route sometimes taken as a result of lack of opportunity. In your case, you have the opportunity, and the circuitous route would be chosen based on vague fears.

Let's say it did take a couple months longer to land an RN job than it would to land an LPN job. Take those months and spend it full time pursuing the job you want. With the right mindset and strategic knowledge (read my book below), you will land the job. You actually start lobbying for jobs and recognition while you're in clinical rotations, so you will have an inside advantage and a plan.

Maybe there is something else holding you back from jumping at the chance. Is it leaving Alberta? Or fear of failing?

Once you have clarity about your feelings, you will be better equipped to make the best choice for you.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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