Your thoughts on LPN vs. RN programs?

Heres the issue : I already obtained my bachelors degree and want to pursue nursing. I am looking at a LPN program then after that I can take a LPN to BSN program. Or do I just go for the RN program and go to school for another 3 years full time. I also looked at fast-tracked BSN programs since I already have some of the classes, but those are two expense and can not work cause its all day every day for 15 months. I need to work and am getting married soon. I don’t know how I am going to start school full-time, work full-time and try to plan a wedding? I need your advice- Thanks

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  1. It sounds as though the “shorter” route may be the LPN to BSN?

    I know that once you have your RN, there are many completely online programs that can get you your BSN while you continue to work full-time as an RN. I’m not sure the same is true for LPN?

    You’ve got big decisions ahead! Good luck!

  2. bookshop_lady says:

    In the long run, it’s going to take just as long if not longer to become an LPN first. If your goal is a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the least expensive way to do it is through a state-funded college or university. Check with the schools near you and also check with your state board of nursing to see if they have scholarships available for nursing students. Some states will pay 100% of your tuition, fees, books, uniforms, etc. but in return you have to work full-time as an RN for a certain number of years afterwards.

    Many hospitals also offer scholarships that pay for your education and you agree to work for that hospital after graduation. You might even consider getting a job at a hospital now, because that gives you an inside edge to available scholarships. And they operate 24 hours a day, so flexible work hours while you’re in school might be possible.

    If you haven’t had all the prerequisite courses for a BSN fast track program, you could always work full time right now, and go to school part-time to pick up any classes you still need. Then you can get into a fast track program in a year or so. YOu’ll be working in the meantime and won’t lose any time going to school to be a vocational nurse. There are lots of possibilities to complete a fast track if you really want to be a nurse and a lot more flexibility than you think. So don’t toss the idea out yet.

  3. saffronesque says:

    I am a retired community college biology instructor, department chairperson and dean and have taught microbiology for allied health programs. I have seen many a student go through both the LPN and ADN programs.

    You can complete the LPN in one year. Once you’ve passed the licensing exam, you can go to work on a full or part-time basis. With the shortage of nurses you can probably arrange your work schedule for whatever period you want. Most community colleges have a transition program of one more year to complete the requirements for an ADN. Your salary will increase once you’ve earned the associate degree. If there is a BSN program nearby, ask the director of the program if they have a 2 + 2 track. They accept your first two years completing the LPN and ADN so your BSN would take a maximum of two years. It could be shorter if the nursing school accepts credits from your Bachelor’s degree. So with this plan, in four years you will have earned three degrees while earning a nice income as a nurse! If you have the time and energy with working and marriage, you could progress to a Masters of Science in Nursing and then be eligible to teach in a nursing program or move into management.

  4. xoni_xoni says:

    Your plan is one option, but here is another option. Check with the 4 year colleges in your area, some of them may offer an accelerated MSN program where you can enter with a bachelors degree in other fields, and graduate with a masters level of nursing degree, and eligibility to sit for your RN state boards. I live in CT and Uconn has a program like this.

  5. ahottmess says:

    I was kind of in your situation not too long ago. I went to a 3 semester LPN program, which was about the same amount of time comittment and work of the RN just 2 semesters shorter. I worked two jobs, and went to school full time, it can be done but you have to want it, and you have to have a flexible job.
    I chose LPN over RN b/c I decided that I could work as a LPN and then pursue my RN. Once it go close to graduation and I began looking at my bridging options I realized I wish I had stuck with the RN program. It will take you the same amount time either route you choose. By choosing LPN first you will just be able to work as a LPN while you continue your education and that may mean more money than what you are currently doing.
    My biggest decision now was LPN to RN or LPN to BSN, I decided RN because it was only another year, and I’m missing too many prereqs for the BSN that it would take 2-3yrs, so I’d rather be a RN before persuing a BSN. Also some programs for LPN to BSN allow you to challenge some of the beginning course work.

    In my state there is a conisderable pay gap between LPN and RNs in the hospital. And as LPN you are more likely to end up in long term care b/c hospitals don’t utilize LPNs much anymore.

    Have you considered part time options for LPN and/or RN, they may take a little longer but you may find it easier to complete.

    With all that being said, the only way I would suggest becoming a LPN first is if the LPN pay would be more than your current income, and your current job doesn’t have flexible scheduling.