LPN or ADN?
Your Question: I cannot afford the tuition to get an accelerated BSN program. I am thinking it would be better to start with an LPN or ADN but don't know the difference between the two. Thanks for your advice!
Thanks for writing to us! There is actually quite a big difference in LPN and ADN. If you have considered going into an accelerated BSN program, I am going to suggest you look more strongly into an associate degree in nursing program versus a licensed practical nurse program.
The biggest difference between these two educational paths is the scope of practice. An LPN is quite limited (different states have different rules)as compared to other nurses. In Illinois for example, you can see both the LPN and RN Nurse Practice Acts to see the difference in the two types. While the documents are wordy, I do recommend reading through them. (Go to our state board of nursing page by clicking here if you are interested in other states by the way.)
Usually an LPN cannot do things such as push IV medications, evaluate assessments they observe, or perform certain types of wound care. Again, this is different in each state and I always recommend contacting YOUR state’s board of nursing so someone there can tell you more.
After completing an LPN program, the applicant will take the NCLEX-PN while applicants in both an ADN or BSN program will take the NCLEX-RN. Only graduates of ADN/BSN programs and those who pass the NCLEX-RN are considered Registered Nurses. You must be a registered nurse to get a masters degree in nursing. Therefore, if you are ever considering moving on from hospital bedside nursing (such as midwifery, anesthesia, professor or nurse practitioner) you will need your BSN.
Don’t forget, you can get your ADN, then get a BSN while working as a registered nurse, so do not get discouraged right now if you cannot afford the tuition for the BSN program. Click here for more info on ADN to BSN programs.
Hope that helps, and be sure to fully explore this site for even more answers!