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LPN or RN?

Looking at different nursing programs for my future, what is the difference between a LPN/LVN and a RN? Would it be better to start with a LPN or go straight for RN?

#nursing #registered-nursing #practicalnursing


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Elaine’s Answer

Hi Adrienne;

If you can get accepted into an RN program go for the RN. A four year RN program would be even better. The greater your degree the more doors that will open, you will earn a better salary, and your employment options will be more varied. Many students choose to attend LVN/LPN programs over RN programs because they are shorter. To some, this may be very important because financially they may need to start earning an income as soon as possible. LVN/LPN programs are generally easier to get into. For students with an average G.P.A., this is a viable option. In addition, others while waiting to get into a RN program begin LVN school so they can start working and gaining some experience. Hope you find this helpful. Good luck to you.

Elaine recommends the following next steps:

Begin researching nursing programs, the application requirements, acceptance rates and timeline to completion

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Miranda’s Answer

I am an LVN who is currently in school to get my BSN and my recommendation is that if you plan to get your RN at some point, then don't waste your time with the LVN. Most of your LVN credits will not transfer to an RN program so you will end up repeating things. The only benefit that I see, is that I gained some experience as an LVN that has helped me in my BSN program, but I think I would have done fine without it. Also, the LVN program I went through was full-time for 11 months- 2 regular semesters plus a summer session. I could have gone straight to the RN program and done full-time for 2 years- 4 regular semesters- then been able to get my RN license. The advantage to that would be that there are many RN-BSN programs that are flexible in terms of whether they are full-time, part-time, online, or in person, and all of your previous RN coursework counts toward the BSN degree. In my opinion, if you can, try to go straight into an RN program. As an LVN, job opportunities and earning potential are very limited. RN's get to do so much more and earn a living wage.

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Louisa’s Answer

The difference between a RN and LPN there are many. RN's are taught theory, history, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, leadership, etc. It is a well rounded and intense education. It also comes with responsibility. Although nurses take orders, they are independent practitioners and are able to work unsupervised. An LPN are taught tasks and that is how they work. They are give a list of tasks to perform and chart. They must be supervised in all settings they work. There are excellent LPN's and a place for their skills but they are getting fewer. Mostly in Skilled Nursing Facilities and some Home Health agencies still use LPN's. Although in Home Health they are limited in the tasks they can preform because they are not directly supervised. As the writer before if money is an issue you can work as a CNA while going to school for your LPN or RN. ( I believe this should be a prerequisite for both programs, but it is very helpful and it does help when applying for jobs.) Also you can work as an LPN while working for your RN.


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