LPN to RN: Making the Journey

Are you currently an LPN and considering becoming an RN? Well, if you are that is definitely understandable as RNs typically enjoy a higher salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics among other various perks and an increased amount of job options (although this is never guaranteed).

LPN to RN: Does an LPN Need to Become an RN?

No, an LPN does not need to become an RN, however, for some people this may be a wise decision depending up where they want to go professionally. When making the journey from LPN to RN, there are a lot of things to consider, with one of the first being whether or not a person wants to get a two year RN degree, or go for a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). A BSN may (this is not guaranteed) open more doors in the nursing field because some employers may have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree in order to work in their institution. Some people may also believe that a BSN may earn a higher salary over an RN, although this can depend on a number of factors such as experience and may not always be the case.

With that said, if you’re looking to move from an LPN to an RN or BSN there are a number of schools where you can do this, but there are a lot of things to consider in that process.First off, you may consider where you want to attend school. If you’re looking to obtain an RN degree and not a BSN, there are a number of community colleges that offer this, and they may have the cheapest tuition (depending upon where you live). If you’re looking to obtain a BSN, then you’d typically need to attend a four year college or university. The state that you live in can also impact your decision to pursue an RN or BSN degree because different states may have different rules as far as how much of your LPN schooling may count toward and RN or BSN, and different schools may also have varying rules on how much credit they will give you toward your RN or BSN degree from your LPN schooling. There may even be some schools that offer LPN to RN online programs, although this may not be allowed in some states and generally speaking, a large portion of classroom training may still be required.

Reaching out to the Department of Health or whichever agency handles the nursing credentialing in your state may be a great first step to find out what’s required by the state. Also, contacting schools that you’re interested and finding out about their RN programs (and the requirements associated with them) may also be helpful too. One thing to understand is that it may be a good idea to research a variety of schools and take your time when choosing a program. It’s not good to be pressured in any way to make a decision as it is most important to find a school that meets your needs and is somewhere that you’d really enjoy attending. There are a lot of decisions in this process, and it’s important to make sure that you’re thorough and take the time to decide what’s best for you and gather all of the information that you need in order to make the best decision.

LPN to RN Wage Comparison

When looking at the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (also known as the BLS), it’s fairly clear to see in these numbers that RNs generally enjoy a higher wage and salary, which equates partially to their higher level of experience and expertise.

As of 2016, the median pay for a Registered Nurse (RN) was $68,450 per year with a median hourly wage of of $32.91 per hour. In comparison, the median pay as of 2016 according to the BLS for an LPN was $44,090 per year with median hourly wage of $21.20 per hour.

From these statistics, it’s fairly clear to see that RNs earn about 35% more than LPNs, statistically speaking of course. This alone may be enough for people who are interested in the profession of nursing to consider becoming an RN as another possible path. Obviously things aren’t just about the money when considering and type of profession, but there are also generally a lot specialty options when looking at RNs instead of LPNs (RNs are able to specialize where LPNs are generally not able to do this). With the potentially increased wages and broader professional options, moving from LPN to RN may be a popular choice among nurses.

Other Things to Consider about LPN to RN Programs

As mentioned above, whenever you choose a nursing program it’s important to make sure that it’s approved by the Board of Nursing in the state where you live and also important to consider other factors as well such as the duration of the program, as well as the reputation that the program has locally in your state and the overall cost of the program. Everyone knows that student loans can become burdensome, and it’s best to avoid them completely if possible, so cost of attendance should always be a factor that’s taken into consideration with the understanding that avoiding debt is very important.

When it comes to advancing from an LPN to an RN, it’s a decision that only you can make for yourself. The timing has to be right as well as your motivations for making the switch. For many LPNs, they want to move on to the next level in their professional lives which often means getting the RN degree, and then moving onto a BSN, and even sometimes an MSN. This is something that you need to think about in terms of your personal goals, but with the proper research and dedication to figuring out what’s the next best step, you’ll end up with a decision that’s right for you.