LPN or RN: The Advantages of Being an LPN

A nurse helps a patient.So you’ve decided to become a nurse. It’s a good career choice because nursing is a life-saving profession that boasts steady job growth. The only question left to answer is: LPN or RN?

Your career depends on which degree you choose. You can become an LPN with a practical nursing degree, but being an RN requires a professional nursing degree. Regardless of which career you choose, just remember that both require you to pass the NCLEX.

There is plenty of information out there comparing practical nursing versus professional nursing, so let’s put that aside. Instead, let’s focus on the advantages of becoming an LPN.

1. Becoming an LPN takes less than time than becoming an RN.

professional nursing degree takes up to four years to complete. By comparison, a practical nursing degree – which leads to the LPN career path after passing the NCLEX – takes as little as 12 months. That means, depending on your course of study, you’d have the opportunity to build exposure and experience in the workforce for an extra three years.

“Most LPNs I have spoken with agree that it is the course length that attracted them,” says Tina Johnson, president of the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses and a 24-year veteran LPN.

2. LPN job outlook is high – and entry-level jobs are available.

The availability of LPN jobs is expected to grow by 22 percent through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The field is growing faster than the national average despite BSN in 10, an initiative in several states that, if passed, will require all nurses to hold Bachelor’s degrees by 2020.

“I believe that the skill levels do matter in critical care areas and RNs should be BSN or higher in those areas,” Johnson says. “Clinical skills are acquired and I know that degree level doesn’t make an LPN or RN a better nurse.”

In addition to job growth, employers are looking for entry-level candidates. More than 80 percent of LPN job postings between Nov. 28, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2013* sought candidates with less than four years’ experience.

3. You can study to be an RN while you’re an LPN.

Your nursing skills and qualifications will naturally evolve throughout your career. So will your career goals. If you decide you’d rather be an RN than an LPN, you have options.

A professional nursing mobility program can help bridge the gap between the two career paths, and it’s possible to become an RN once you pass the appropriate NCLEX exam. Most programs are offered online or during evenings and weekends, so you’ll likely still be able to work while you earn your next degree.

Finances are usually a compelling reason people make the leap from LPN to RN later in their careers. It’s an indisputable fact that RNs earn more than LPNs, $64,690 per year for RNs versus $40,380 per year for LPNs, so that’s a likely draw.

 

The decision: When you have to make the LPN or RN career choice, the advantages of being an LPN are clear. Becoming an LPN means you can enter the workforce quickly, enter a field with high job growth, and become an RN if your career goals change.

If those advantages have lured you in, be sure to research to find the best nursing school for you.

And remember, “Becoming an LPN is a great accomplishment and LPNs should stand proud together,” Johnson says.

 

*Burning Glass is a comprehensive database providing statistics and insights about the current job market

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer for Rasmussen College. She researches and writes student-focused articles that focus on nursing, health sciences, business and justice studies. She enjoys writing engaging content to help future, current, and former students on their path to a rewarding education.

comments powered by Disqus
Share Your Story Ideas
Our campuses and online community have stories to tell and we want to hear them! Did your campus raise the most money in the community for an organization? Do you have online study tips for other students? Would you like to share a personal success story about overcoming an obstacle while earning your degree?
To have your story idea considered:
  • You must be a faculty member, current student or graduate
  • Story ideas must be regarding Rasmussen College or an inspiring story about a student at Rasmussen College
  • Your submission must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already
Please Note: Your story idea may be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat or on one of our social networks. A member of our news team will contact you should we move forward with a blog post.
Feel free to suggest an idea for a blog post to be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat by filling out the form below:

First Name: (required)

Last Name: (required)

Email Address: (required)

Phone Number: (required)

500 characters or less

close

Your Story Idea Has Been Submitted

Thank you for sending us a story idea! We’re reviewing submissions and may contact you soon to learn more about your story. In the meantime, make sure to check out our current blogs to see what’s happening on campus.

close