Should you become an LPN before an RN?

Here are some factors that can help you determine whether you should become an LPN or an RN:

LPN Training VS RN Program: What Takes Longer?

To work as an LPN, you’ll need to earn a Practical Nursing diploma from a state-approved educational program. It takes one year to complete the program. 

Once you get some experience working as an LPN, you’ll be able to transition to an RN. To do so, you’ll need to take an RN accredited program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. 

Depending on the program and your nursing experience, some institutions may allow you to skip some courses of the RN program.

Regardless of their experience, RNs must have either an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s in nursing science. It takes 2 to 4 years to get a nursing degree. 

In a nutshell, it is faster to go straight into an RN program than to transition from an LPN to RN. Also, keep in mind that your schedule will be more flexible while you are a student than when you are working and going to school at the same time. 


Unfortunately, formal education is expensive. If money is an issue for you, we recommend starting as an LPN and then transitioning to an RN. This way, your LPN salary will help you to save up for the RN program. You may also be able to save money if the university allows you to skip a part of the RN program. 

Hands-on Experience

An advantage of being an LPN before being an RN is the experience. 

Formal education provides you with the knowledge, but clinical work enables you to learn through experience. Rather than learning from the textbook, experiences will help you remember clinical information more easily. This is why clinical experience is a huge advantage when you decide to take the NCLEX-RN exam. 

We assure you that you’ll be an excellent RN, whether you choose to transition or go straight into formal education. This decision depends mostly on the resources that you currently have.

If you are looking to start your nursing career as an LPN, please reach out to CynaMed Healthcare Staffing Solutions. We have plenty of job postings to suit your needs and career goals. Let us help you!

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