What does it take to be an LPN?

Nurses General Nursing


I am a new nursing student planning on getting my associates degree and getting my RN certification. I was just curious what you have to do to get an LPN, wondering if I might want to do that first. And also...what are the differences in duties of an RN and a LPn. Thanks for any replies.


60 Posts

:) If you are currently a nursing student and are already studying toward a degree to be a RN, I would not stop to pursue a LPN education.LPN's can do many things that RN's can do-varying state to state, and they are a valuable asset to nursing the same as CNA's and RN's, etc.However, having been an LPN for a long time, and now an RN I can tell you that the job opportunities(while I never had any trouble finding jobs as an LPN)are not as broad as an RN.IE: You will have a difficult time in some geographic areas working in; say,specialty units where you might want to work.Also, pay is better for RN's.If you need to finish school and start earning more money sooner than what it will take to achieve RN status, then certainly becoming an LPN is an option.That is why I became an LPN first-needed to support my family ASAP on something greater than minimum wage, and I have never regretted obtaing that LPN education.If you are young and have the resources available to you to become an RN, and you have already started that ball rolling, I would advise you to finish what you started.


6,011 Posts


You can call your State Board of Nursing and inquire about the possibility of taking the LPN test after your first year of your RN program.

Ours had that provision for quite awhile, but I don't know about now. Then if you wanted or needed to work while you are in school or between semesters it could be as an LPN.

My personal opinion is that if your goal is RN, and you don't have a reason to get the LPN first, ie finances, family obligations, just skip the LPN and go for the RN. The LPN program is 12 months long, and the LPN to RN bridge program in my area only grants 14 credit hours for having a LPN degree. So basically, the LPN takes you about a year out of the way. If you want to work in a hospital during school, become a CNA. I'm an entry-level Unit Tech (basically a uncertified nurse's aide) and I make $2 less an hour than entry-level LPN's and I schedule my work hours around my classes.

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