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Nursing Careers: LPN or RN - The Choice Is Up To YOU!


by Greg Cryns


If you are just starting out in the wonderful nursing career, you are probably asking if you should begin your career journey as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or rather jump into the deeper RN water.

It depends on YOU, of course. Simple answer to a complicated question.

Take some time to learn the requirements for each field of nursing. Decide if you have the determination to get into the tougher RN program.
Learn about the opportunities for both.

For example, in many states LPNs are being turned out of regular hospitals. On the flip side, there is a growing need for LPNs in home settings. Most LPNs work in nursing homes. 

What will you do if you are an LPN?  You can expect to apply dressings and bandages, alcohol massages and rubs, taking vital signs, monitoring the patients and noting any changes (paperwork), collecting samples for testing, giving baths to patients and helping with their general hygiene, helping patients with their meals.

The LPN certificate is available after you pass courses in anatomy, nutrition, chemistry, first aid, physiology and some nursing specific courses. You must pass an exam, of course.

If your goal is to be an RN and you lack the time and funds to attend school full time, then the LPN/LVN route may be your best choice. You will gain valuable 


experience even though you will be likely be working in nursing homes. It's still nursing. 

Depending on which school you attend it will take one to two years in an LPN/LVN program. 

If you want to get your college 4-year degree, the BSN, be aware that many colleges offer the LPN to BSN/RN major. 

Definitely get into the RN program as soon as possible. You will be in a competitive situation to get into a school, but only you can make it happen. Tell the nay-sayers to take a hike.

Keep in mind that you can take many courses online now that will make it easier to obtain you BSN.

There are different grades of RN. These include the diploma program with three years of study, an associate degree (ADN or ASN) that takes at least two years to complete., a bachelor's degree (BSN) with four years of study with a normal college degree.

People with a BSN degree will generally earn more from the first year of practice. Employers are more likely to award signing bonuses to BSNs. Advancement opportunities are far better with the BSN.

It's your life. Make the most of it!

 

 

 

 

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