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Why do some people look down on LPNs?

I'm currently in an LPN program and I constantly get the, "why not just get your RN?" or the "LPN's aren't real nurses." I never justify these comments with a response. I'm just curious how this thought process came to be? I plan on earning my RN shortly after graduating, I already have some prereqs done and I chose the LPN route due to time constraints and the ease of bridging. Either way, I bust my butt in school and it's disheartening that people don't understand the role of an LPN and how valuable they can be.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

Do you suspect, in part, it's the new grads who move quickly on to an RN that help perpetuate that?

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Wanting to further your education should have nothing to do with being looked down upon as an LPN. I would respect any classmate of mine who stayed an LPN and value him or her as a nurse. I want to work in a hospital, realistically the chances of that happening as an LPN are slim to none - hence pursuing the RN. The LPN and the RN play different roles in the healthcare system, different, NOT less.

That's a good question, plenty friends are RN's and I got the why not be a "real nurse" drives me insane but I know this choice to get into a lpn school was my best shot because of silly choices I made in my younger days as well as I feel after I get my lpn I can work as well as a bridge program.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

I tell people I'm a nurse & they say oh an RN? Sometimes I'll tell them LVN, other times I'll just say nothing. I don't know why it matters.

Jen_Loves_Nursing

Specializes in ICU/ER, Maternal, Psych.

I'm currently in an LPN program and I constantly get the, "why not just get your RN?" or the "LPN's aren't real nurses." I never justify these comments with a response. I'm just curious how this thought process came to be? I plan on earning my RN shortly after graduating, I already have some prereqs done and I chose the LPN route due to time constraints and the ease of bridging. Either way, I bust my butt in school and it's disheartening that people don't understand the role of an LPN and how valuable they can be.

I had someone tell my an LVN was a glorified CNA... uh, no. I think the common belief is we are only attaining our LVNs and not going further... i do hate that i have to back my reasoning with "Well I'm going into an RN/BSN program after" tbh, the vocational program I'm going into suits my personal needs better than other programs around. AND I can work as an LVN while in RN school... after I advance place into an RN program of course. idk.. people are ignorant.

Jen_Loves_Nursing

Specializes in ICU/ER, Maternal, Psych.

Do you suspect, in part, it's the new grads who move quickly on to an RN that help perpetuate that?

Sent from my iPhone.

I didn't even think about this..but could be absolutely true.

mindofmidwifery, ADN

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

I think it's the same reason why people look down on CNAs and why a lot of people look down on nurses as a whole! The whole "why don't you be a doctor" business and such.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

I'm just curious how this thought process came to be?
The reality is that some ignorant people look down upon education that was delivered at community colleges or trade schools. And although some LPNs were educated at state universities, most people associate a practical nursing education with trade school or community college. Some people conclude the coursework is watered down. They speculate that the students who attend these schools are not 'university material.'

Even though I was accepted to three universities during my senior year of high school, I entered the entry-level workforce after high school graduation for certain reasons. I worked a string of dead-end jobs for five years before attending a trade school LVN program at 23 years old.

I worked as an LVN for several years while completing prerequisite coursework at a community college, then I enrolled in a trade school LPN-to-ASN bridge program and earned my RN licensure at 29 years old. I now have 7 more credits to go before I receive my BSN degree.

My LVN work experience is the foundation upon which my nursing career was built. My community college and trade school education were the launching pads upon which my postsecondary educational attainment has taken off. If a handful of uninformed people think I'm some lowly person for having attended community college and trade school, that's their problem.

The 'N' in LPN represents 'nurse.' Many LPNs have more earning potential with their one-year trade school certificates or two-year college diplomas than a growing number of unemployed university-educated people who earned BA degrees in humanities, classics or art history. Be proud of your achievements and don't let the views of misguided fools rent valuable space in your head.

Good luck to you!

Having been an LVN a HUGE problem imo is the literature and the nclex rn. I was SHOCKED. They make LVNs sound like idiots who couldn't do anything. I found while doing practice questions that i always got lvn related questions wrong. When I dumbed down LVNs and changed answers i started getting them all right. It made me sick. My Kaplan instructor even agreed that the nclex scope of practice for LVNs wasn't realistic.

And there is a huge mentality amongst RNs that they are better. And bsn better than ADN and MSN better than bsn. No one wants to be at the bottom so they shove them down.

It is true that LVNs do not have the knowledge base that RNs have however it's how you use your knowledge. LVNs work hard and it's sad to see the mentality that exists.

I did a pilot LVN to BSN program at a university and some of the professors there did not support our program at all. They didn't feel LVNs deserved to be there. Sad isn't it?

in my 12 years as an lvn and my experience as an lvn to bsn student taught me that you have to ignore these people and prove them wrong. I always worked hard and when I didn't know something i went out and learned it. I had a great time telling one instructor not only had i passed boards but I got hired to a level 1 trauma center ER. Her face was priceless.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

People may look down, but there are far more others that know the value of LPNs; it's what you do with the knowledge that makes the difference.

I have worked with many RNs that have NO idea of what LPNs are capable of...I let my practice do the talking and let them eat crow later on; it wasn't no skin off my nose!

PD82

Specializes in Neuro/EMU, Pediatrics, Med Surg.

Before I started LVN school a year ago, I had somewhat of this same mentality. I want my RN (because the hospital department I want to work in requires it) and applied to both RN and LVN programs. I got accepted into LVN school first- so I went with it because bridging over is much less competitive. This past year of LVN school has been pure hell, we work our butts off and study hard. We do clincials at the same hospital as the RN program and some of those students are very immature. Being a nurse is not just about education level, but the ability to critically think and behave like a nurse.

Some of the best nurses I know were LVN's for decades before they got their RN, which was not by choice but by the demands of employers. Just as is is now to be a BSN instead of an RN. I believe that LVN school has given me an excellent foundation to build upon, and allow me to get real nursing experience while I continue to the RN bridge.

When people find out Im in nursing school and ask "so your going to be a RN?", most of them dont even know what the hell the difference is and it would be more exhausting to explain it LOL.

LPN709

Specializes in LTC.

Having been an LVN a HUGE problem imo is the literature and the nclex rn. I was SHOCKED. They make LVNs sound like idiots who couldn't do anything. I found while doing practice questions that i always got lvn related questions wrong. When I dumbed down LVNs and changed answers i started getting them all right. It made me sick. My Kaplan instructor even agreed that the nclex scope of practice for LVNs wasn't realistic.

And there is a huge mentality amongst RNs that they are better. And bsn better than ADN and MSN better than bsn. No one wants to be at the bottom so they shove them down.

It is true that LVNs do not have the knowledge base that RNs have however it's how you use your knowledge. LVNs work hard and it's sad to see the mentality that exists.

I did a pilot LVN to BSN program at a university and some of the professors there did not support our program at all. They didn't feel LVNs deserved to be there. Sad isn't it?

in my 12 years as an lvn and my experience as an lvn to bsn student taught me that you have to ignore these people and prove them wrong. I always worked hard and when I didn't know something i went out and learned it. I had a great time telling one instructor not only had i passed boards but I got hired to a level 1 trauma center ER. Her face was priceless.

I believe this is the answer to your question :) Of course not all RN's are like this. Most seem to appreciate the LPNs and CNAs.

I believe this is the answer to your question :) Of course not all RN's are like this. Most seem to appreciate the LPNs and CNAs.

Yes in my experience most RNs appreciate LV/PNs. Any smart confident nurse wouldn't be silly enough to not appreciate knowledgeable help. So when you run into these nurses who don't like LVNs or anyone below them you have to stop and wonder why? I think they are threatened or ignorant or both.

I think we all need to remember the story of Charlie Plumb. The short version is he was fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, he was shot down and became a POW. He survived and made it home. Many years later a man came up to him and asked him if was Charlie Plumb the fighter pilot shot down? He said yes, how did you know that. The man said, "I packed your parachute." Charlie didn't recognize him, even though his work had saved his life. He looked back and realized that back then he never would have noticed or cared for this lowly sailor. He wondered how many times he had passes his man and never said hello or noticed him. Yet this man's commitment to his work saved his life.

Everyday at work someone is packing our parachute, and we're packing someone else's. No job is too lowly. We have to remember that.

Coriander, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice & Palliative Care, Oncology, M/S.

Many of our LVNs are some of the best nurses I've worked with. Some are back in school while others are happy with where they are. I'm often asking their input on things. :)

cinlou, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency and Critical Care.

Unfortunately those who look down on others have a heightened image of themselves and are insecure. I am a director of LPN/CNA programs and I spend a great deal of time educating others on the scope and practice of the LPN and the importance of CNA's, LPN's, housekeepers, maintenance, dietary,registration, unit clerk etc., because without any of them, the RN role would be much harder. I was an LPN for 10 years, then an ADN then years later my BSN and my MSN. Nursing is lifelong learning. Most RN's that have been LPN's have much stronger skills and can run circles around others. I went in to education thinking I could change some of that from the beginning, and as you all know it is difficult, but I will keep fighting the good fight. I remember years ago someone saying to me they wanted a real nurse I told them touch me I'm real, and went on to talk with them and educate them, it is a never ending job, but we all must be educators to everyone. Do not lower yourself to that level, be proud of who and what you are, and NEVER say "I am just an LPN". You are a nurse with a slightly different scope of practice, so you can be at the patients bedside more often and do what you love "caring for others".

A nurse is a nurse. Now an RN isn't good enough and everyone should have BSN. And if you're a BSN - why not an MSN or an NP? There's always going to be that pressure in healthcare. Why would an MD study general medicine- don't you want to do something more exciting like a specialty?? - it's all a personal choice, and we need people in all levels in all areas. Being an LVN has been great for me. Yes, I make less money than an RN, but I've found I've had more job security. I've been able to find multiple M-F jobs which is personally what I like. To each their own. CNA all the way to Chief of Medicine, we're all on the same team and all important.

NGYSUN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching.

Most of the smartest people that I've worked with were LVNs... I have great respect for them... I am an RN with my BSN, but I ALWAYS asked my LVNs for clarification Every time, when I needed it and they just loved me for that... they kept saying that I don't have the "RN/BSN attitude" (whatever that means)... anyway my point is, we're no different from an LVN, its just the scope of practice thing...

I once had a new grad on my floor say that he can't orient with an LVN who has been a nurse for 14years.. and I was like, how stupid of him... he even stated that hellw be the one to deligate to this LVN..to cut long story short when the chips went down, the 'nurses' were separated from 'THE Nurses'..

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