Should I go for LVN or RN

Nurses General Nursing


I have a question and I knew I could turn to you guys for help. I am almost done with my pre-reqs for the RN program, but my problem is I cannot pass my freakin chemistry class. This is my second semester taking chemistry and I still don't get it. I was thinking about changing my career path and doing the lvn to RN bridge program. My question is do I have to take chemistry for the LVN program and if not then when I decide to apply for the RN program would I then have to take chemistry as a pre-req? I feel like this class is holding me back from achieving my goals and I just don't know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated? Thanks:(

Specializes in ER, Peds ER.

Are you doing a BSN or an AND program? I know a buddy of is on the last of his pre reqs for his AND and he hasn't had it take chemistry. So if it's an AND maybe you could look at other programs in your area and see if your credits would transfer to one that didn't require chemistry. If it's a BSN and you have to have chemistry (which I did in mine) have you tried getting a chemistry tutor? I don't reccomend an LVN to RN program all that's going to do is make it take 2 twice as long to get your RN.

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

The Pre Reqs will depend on the school. My pre reqs here in CO were a lot less then they were in WA. If you are not going to pass can you take it again? There are a few classes I took twice because because I didn't feel I got a good understanding for the class the first time around. After taking it again, I did a lot better. Maybe look into tutoring as well.

Sometimes Chem might not be required for the program but it will be a pre req for a class that is.

Specializes in Med-Surg, gynecology.

I have yet to see an LVN program that requires chemistry as a pre-req.

If chemistry is not your thing (as it sounds like it isn't :/ ), then going through an LVN program will allow you to become a nurse sooner rather than later, and not be held up by this one particular class. Additionally, being an LVN prior to being an RN will allow you to earn a living wage while you complete your studies, and many employers will assist you should you choose to go the LVN-to-RN route. Keep in mind, however, that you will be more limited in where you can work as an LVN. Hospitals that use LVNs are few and far between (they are out there, just not as many as there used to be). Jobs in LTC, home health, and rehab are usually available for LVNs and will pay between $16-30/hour, depending on what part of the country you're in.

Additionally, many of the best nurses with whom I've ever worked started out as really do learn so much as an LVN, and I believe starting out as an LVN provides a great foundation from which to build your nursing career.

Good luck with chemistry--I hope you'll hit upon a solution that's right for you!

It seems as though your ultimate goal is to achieve your RN degree so wont you have to take and pass a chemistry class anyhow? I would suggest getting a tutor and sticking with the RN program. However, trophywife81 brings up a good point. Working as an LVN while you're working towards an RN will allow you to make a good living in the meantime.

I thought that LVNs and LPNs were practically the same thing, which is why not many hospitals have oppenings for I totally off track here or are LVNs considered a step above LPNs?

I agree that you can see if your credit hours will transfer to an associate degree program at a community college as most do not require chemistry. If that is not an option, then I agree with Trophywife81....LVN is a great option. I taught in a vocational nursing program for 25 years and am currently teaching in an associate degree program. I would say that for the most part, my VN grads were more ready to hit the floor running after graduation than the ADN graduates. A good percentage of my VN students were like you, having their prerequisites and trying to get into a limited number of slots in an RN program or trying to beef up their GPA, or finishing up pre-requisites. For whatever reason they came to my VN program, they all consistently said they were glad that they went the VN route first, and felt it helped them tremendously when they went back for the RN.

As far as what you can do as a LVN, the opportunities abound. It depends on which area of the country you live in. In my area, LVNs are hired in hospitals in fairly large numbers. Do not think that you will be relegated to the nursing home if that is not your area of interest. Many are hired for office settings, state schools, and even school nurses in some districts. Good luck in whatever you choose, and don't give up!

Specializes in Med-Surg, gynecology.


We are called Licensed Vocational Nurses in Texas and California; all other states refer to their basic nurses as Licensed Practical Nurses.

LVNs and LPNs are the same, just different names in different states. The state nursing practice act in most states determine the scope of practice for VN/PNs, but they are the same.

yeah that's what I though. I'm in Mass and it's LPN here. I'm also doing LPN courses too before I dive into RN. AND I'm starting CNA classes in about a month before I do's good to start at the bottom and work your way up, so in that case, I would totally suggest doing the LVN first.

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

Depends on a few there a long waiting list for the RN program? What are the prospects for LPN employment in your area? Because if LPN opportunities are not plentiful, and RN is your goal, it would make no sense to take the program if you will not be able to practice with that license. If there is a terribly LONG waiting list (and if LPN positions are promising), then, maybe consider the LPN program (for now), and in the meantime, work on the chemistry. It is true, not every school requires chemistry for their RN programs. I have never heard of any LPN program requiring chemistry, but, I have been surprized. Good luck!

Thanks so much everyone for your responses. I think I'm gonna go to the LVN orientation next month and hopefully I can find out some more info also Is it easier to get into the RN program if your already an LVN because I heard they have advance placement if you are already an LVN.

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

That would be helpful. Find out what they have to say, ask questions about the RN waiting list and see what happens. I'd also ask questions about LPN career options in your area to see what they say. Don't just take their word for it, however, because most programs wish to generate money more that look out for the better interests of their other words, of course they will tell you that you'll have many choices for employment...just to get your money. Look in newspapers, check out Craig's List, reach out to incumbant LPNs in your area and ask them.

It may be true that some areas no longer utilize LPNs in hospital settings, but they may be booming in nursing homes, home care, assisted living, corrections and clinics within your immediate area. Many nursing homes now have advanced care such as vents, wound care, etc that will prepare you for the hospital once you obtain your RN. In addition, it may allow you to decide if nursing, in fact, is for you at all. Some get into it as LPNs and decide that they don't want to deal with the politics of nursing at all. At least you would not have wasted a great deal of time, and you can also work part time or per diem as an LPN while you search for other options, or complete your RN while applying the knowledge to your daily LPN care. Good luck!

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