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What direction should I go? I'm really torn and need real guidance/advice...Lpn or RN?

Hello everyone,

I'm currently a LPN student, I just finished/passed my first semester in June and will be starting my second semester in the fall, but I'm really torn as to if I should continue on the LPN journey or switch schools to go to school to be a RN instead? I've been asking some of my co-workers that are LPN's and RN'S about which route to take and some has told me to go for LPN because it will be a good foundation for me going into RN school and some has told me to just go straight for RN if that's what I ultimately want to do. Being in nursing school for the first semester I have learned that LPN's can pretty much do all of the things RN'S can do, except for stuff like hanging blood etc....I'm asking for your wisdom and advice on which is the better route to take, that will be worth it for sure in the long run. I can tell you guys that my LPN program is a full time Mon-Fri program that doesn't really give me any flexibility to work and make money while I'm in school, where on the other hand I know that an RN program will allow me to work at least part time because I can set my own school schedule. I also have 2 children that I have to try to juggle in the midst of everything else too. So my question is should I continue on my LPN journey, or just go for the jugular and go straight for my RN?

Thank you all for reading & God Bless!

Finish the LPN program and you will have provided yourself with a Plan B in case the RN goal does not work out, a path to get into an LPN to RN program in case you do not get admitted into an RN program from the get go, and a means to earn money while you are in RN school as long as you don't swamp yourself. If you leave now, you will have nothing to show for your hard work if you can not get into RN school or if something goes wrong before you are comfortably working as an RN. That's my advice.

AdultPsychRN

Specializes in Adult Psychiatric.

I completed my first year of school and took the NCLEX-PN. I spent the second year ("RN school") working as a LPN and gaining great experience while completing my ADN. I am now working on my BSN online. I guess it really depends on what you want to do with nursing whether you should be a LPN or RN and how flexible your schedule for school can be while working on your RN. In nursing homes especially it may seem like LPNs do the same things as RNs, but the scope of practice is very different. LPNs care for stable patients and "collect data." RNs care for unstable patients and perform nursing assessments. Just like you said, RNs can do some tasks that LPNs can't i.e. hang blood, start IVs (some states LPNs can) and give IV meds, insert NG tubes, etc. LPNs are utilized more in long-term care and clinics. Very few hospitals use LPNs anymore. RN clinic jobs are not as common as LPN ones. Because RNs carry more responsibilities than LPNs, they are paid higher wages. I guess I would recommend asking yourself what you want to do with nursing and it might help you make your decision.

Finish the LPN program and you will have provided yourself with a Plan B in case the RN goal does not work out, a path to get into an LPN to RN program in case you do not get admitted into an RN program from the get go, and a means to earn money while you are in RN school as long as you don't swamp yourself. If you leave now, you will have nothing to show for your hard work if you can not get into RN school or if something goes wrong before you are comfortably working as an RN. That's my advice.

This, you are already in a LPN program if it was me I would continue to finish it. Once you have completed the program you and have gotten your LPN you can than look for other programs that would allow you to bridge to your RN. If you were to stop now, you would have nothing to show for the work that you have already done, and no guarantee that you would be able to get into an RN program right away.

I have learned that LPN's can pretty much do all of the things RN'S can do, except for stuff like hanging blood etc....

The most important differences, as I understood them to be, are that RN's have the accountability, do the full assessments, careplans, more delegation responsibilities, and more critical thinking, besides management. (Well actually I had heard someone on here say they were an LPN who managed in a nursing home)

I just say this because I didn't want you to go for an RN thinking it was just like an LPN besides a few skills.

If it were me, I would do what is both economically best and fastest. Usually LPN programs seem expensive to me. (Around here it's $15,000 no financial aid). So to not use that would be a deterrent to finishing your LPN imo? Not that colleges and the supplies for an RN programs aren't expensive. If you know of a good LPN-RN bridge program and cost factors out about the same as if you left LPN school and started the RN college, that's not a bad route.

I was going to go to an LPN vocational school because I wanted to start that fall and here at my university I had to wait a year. I decided to wait because of the cost and that I knew without a doubt I wanted the RN and it's probably easier this way in terms of course load because I got the year of prereqs out of the way without any clinical or nursing classes yet, plus can take extra classes. If you switched to a nursing program for this fall, you'd take your sciences and gen eds for a year. I prefer that way unless someone knows they will work as an LPN while perusing the RN just my opinion though. I know LPN would be super experience and give a great edge. It would be hard for me to work as an LPN while in full time RN classes though.

P.S. I just saw your CNA credentials with your name, sorry. Wow that I didn't pick that up when you said "my co-workers are RN's and LPN's" !!

I guess you know everything I wrote then. I wouldn't think you'd need the LPN for experience then. I would go straight for RN. But best wishes whatever you decide!

Edited by direw0lf
last paragraph

Hi, I say either way you go is good, you can finish the LPN program and then do the bridge to become an RN and maybe work if you have the time or need to as an LPN, and if you go straight to an RN well that's 2years minimum so it will be less time (1 to 2 semesters earlier). However, I do suggest not to get out of the LPN program until they accept you in an RN program, because then you will have to wait and loose time, just a thought let me know how it goes.... Good Luck!

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

The most important differences, as I understood them to be, are that RN's have the accountability, do the full assessments, careplans, more delegation responsibilities, and more critical thinking, besides management. (Well actually I had heard someone on here say they were an LPN who managed in a nursing home)

I just say this because I didn't want you to go for an RN thinking it was just like an LPN besides a few skills.

At least in my experience other than having lesser employment opportunities being a LPN was pretty much just like being a RN with only a few restrictions.

To all new nursing students please be aware of what is being fed to you. Something unfortunate I experienced is that at each wrung on the nursing ladder there seems to be an air of superiority whether it be LPN to RN, ADN to BSN, BSN to MSN.

It sickens me to think of the money I spent on courses that largely amounted to "now that you are a blah blah nurse you are so much more important than the lowly LPNs, ADNs etc." :( My personal wish is that we tighten up our true clinical skills and drop some of the nursing fluff in our education experiences.

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency.

Follow the advice of the great Yogi - "when you come to a fork in the road, take it".

To all new nursing students please be aware of what is being fed to you. Something unfortunate I experienced is that at each wrung on the nursing ladder there seems to be an air of superiority whether it be LPN to RN, ADN to BSN, BSN to MSN.

It sickens me to think of the money I spent on courses that largely amounted to "now that you are a blah blah nurse you are so much more important than the lowly LPNs, ADNs etc." :( My personal wish is that we tighten up our true clinical skills and drop some of the nursing fluff in our education experiences.

I tried hard to remain sensitive in my reply to this that lpns and cnas or other so called support staff members sometimes feel that rns act superior because I'm sure many do.

In the class I just had though the differences really were stressed in the way I described and most of it was about who is accountable which we were told is the rn.

Maybe in the real world there isn't a difference but a few skills? I wonder though and not wondering because I want to be superior but why don't hospitals just hire more lpns then because they could pay them less why are hospitals decreasing lpns? I know the magnet status but it still doesn't make sense. (But neither does mandatory overtime make sense to me when the hospital gets higher mortality rates and errors you'd think they'd save money by not having that).

My teacher even told us that the ANA wants education required for nursing to be bsn only.

I definitely don't want to suggest all the time in school and hard work was less in any way. At the same time I think though I also don't want to feel like my bsn was pointless.

I have a lot to learn in school yet I just know already though that I'm going to be appreciating every nurse and aid working with me though because I know how hard they have to work and aren't paid as much as rns.

I would finish LPN now. You have already started and some ADN/BSN program will see that you didn't finish and will not accept you. Where I live the question (not in a good way) you have previous nursing school credit.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

At least in my experience other than having lesser employment opportunities being a LPN was pretty much just like being a RN with only a few restrictions.

To all new nursing students please be aware of what is being fed to you. Something unfortunate I experienced is that at each wrung on the nursing ladder there seems to be an air of superiority whether it be LPN to RN, ADN to BSN, BSN to MSN.

It sickens me to think of the money I spent on courses that largely amounted to "now that you are a blah blah nurse you are so much more important than the lowly LPNs, ADNs etc." :( My personal wish is that we tighten up our true clinical skills and drop some of the nursing fluff in our education experiences.

JulesA, I have seen you post several things like this. You are reading way to much into what other people post. This poster was clarifying the difference between a LPN and a RN. A LPN cannot do assessments amongst other things depending on which state you are in. Also the pay is about $10 an hour difference. Nobody is putting down the LPN or saying they are not nurses. I have no idea why you are so sensitive about this subject. But the fact of the matter is, the scope of practice is different. The OP was wondering what to do, and she was getting some good advice on the difference. Nobody, was trying to be superior what-so-ever. I apologized to you the other day because you were offended by me recommending to someone who had failed out of a BSN program to try a LPN program. You tried to say I was saying that the program was easier, which I was not. I was saying it because they are not as impacted and the OP of that thread would maybe have a better chance of getting into it as she had done well in the lecture part of the RN program but had a problem in the clinical aspect. Please stop doing that.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi.

Being in nursing school for the first semester I have learned that LPN's can pretty much do all of the things RN'S can do, except for stuff like hanging blood etc....

Sorry, this isn't true. I have held 4 jobs in nursing and only one of them has utilized LPNs in any way. An LPN's scope of practice is much more limited than an RN's.

The hospital I worked at (nationally ranked pediatric hospital) didn't employ a single LPN in any capacity, not even in outpatient.

School? Have to be an RN WITH a BSN per state requirements.

Clinical liaison? Have to be an RN.

The only environment I worked in that employed LPNs was home health and, even there, they're limited. Can't do any SOCs, recerts or discharges (CMS guidelines specifically say that LPNs are not qualified to do OASIS). They do straightforward follow-up visits and have to be supervised by an RN regularly. In the PDN side they may work on the same cases as RNs but only if those cases are not so complex to require only RNs. Anyone with IV push meds, for example, will be an RN only case.

Une Infirmiere, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

LPNs and RNs have different scope of practice and yes accountability implies a lot. AND YES, LPN school is way easier than RN school...Sorry but that's the reality. As nurses, we need to know what's good for our profession. Nurses have been looked down on for so long...I personally think that I am no less than a MD. I just have less schooling. In the the same way an LPN is no less than an RN, However I wouldn't go for LPN because...

1. If I'm going to be a nurse mind as well be REGISTERED.

2. If I'm going to be a nurse mind as well have a strong background (Yes I had to take a semester of anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, speech and English composition to even aspire to Nursing school)

3. If I'm going to be a nurse mind as well have a Degree and opportunities.

4. If I'm going to be a nurse mind as well have no limitation due to my schooling (LPN cannot hang blood, do initial assessment, teach, admit, discharge or be a leader where there is an RN).

Une Infirmiere, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

Oups sent by mistake!! Anyways to answer the OP,

Since you are already in LPN school just stay there. But make sure you go back to school ASAP to get your RN. Drop LPN school if you are accepted in RN program. Don't forget that your goal is RN not LPN. Ignore the distractions they cost you time and money.

Good Luck!

The LPN program is 2 semesters correct? So you only have one more semester to go?

If the above assumptions are correct, I would stick to the LPN program and then pursue a BSN program upon completion.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

JulesA, I have seen you post several things like this. You are reading way to much into what other people post.

Please stop doing that.

Thanks for your sage advice and rehashing your previous complaints about my posting. I'm thinking I will reserve the right to post whatever is within TOS and would suggest you consider blocking me if you find my experience and opinion this disturbing.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

AND YES, LPN school is way easier than RN school...Sorry but that's the reality. .

And you know this because you have attended a LPN program?

Une Infirmiere, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

And you know this because you have attended a LPN program?

I know this because I got a CNA training at a LPN school..(Nosy me tried and passed the LPN entrance test with Flying colors then). I know the curriculum at least for that school...and I know this because I had few LPN in my RN program..some were new grad LVN and others had years of experience.

NICUmiiki, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU/PICU Flight Nursing.

In Jan 2012, I started an LPN program. That LPN program took a year and a half because it included some prereqs. I completed the first semester, but then I transferred to a college with hopes of going to their BSN program. Thankfully, I finished my missing prereqs and immediately started nursing school in Jan 2013. I just graduated, and I have no regrets about leaving the LPN program. Even though the people I started LPN school with graduated a 1.5 years before me, most of them had plans to get their RN. I knew that I was going to go on and get my RN, so I just cut out a couple of years.

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