What is the Salary Difference Between an LPN and RN?
Those interested in a career in health care may be deciding between pursuing the educational requirements of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a registered nurse (RN). While it's true that students can expect to land a job sooner as a LPN than they can as a RN, LPNs statistically earn significantly less than RNs. They also have less room for advancement.
If you're deciding between the two job titles, you should really evaluate all the details and make the decision that's best for you. There's no clear cut answer to whether it's better to aim for LPN jobs or RN jobs. And remember, it's always possible to continue your education while you're working as a LPN so that eventually you can enjoy the increased earning potentials and greater job opportunities of a qualified RN.
Just how much more do RNs and LPNs make?
As of 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary of a LPN was recorded at $43,170 or $20.76 per hour. On the other hand, the BLS tells us that the average salary of a RN in 2015 was recorded at $67,490 or $32.45. A RN can therefore expect to make over 50 percent more than a LPN.
Both the job market for LPNs and the job market for RNs are expected to grow much faster than average through the year 2024. However, it's worth noting that there were 2,751,000 RN jobs in the United States in 2014 as compared to only 719,900 LPN jobs in 2014. Clearly, RNs benefit from both a higher salary and more job opportunities.
Various factors in the world of health care make it so that RNs are likely to be in increasingly high demand while LPNs may not have the knowledge, skills, and know-how to offer the skills required of new opportunities that are likely to open up in the coming years. The field of medicine has known about a chronic shortage of nurses in certain areas for decades now. The need is speculated to only increase in the coming years.
What's the Difference in Education and Experience Requirements?
The education requirements of a LPN are less extensive than those required of a RN. An individual hoping to land a job as a LPN can complete a certificate program in as little as 15 months. On the other hand, an individual hoping to become a RN will probably need to study for at least 18 months to possibly 2 years, before being able to start working.
A certificate program for a LPN will typically be much more practical and involve less classroom study and more clinical study than a program for a RN will require. A LPN educational program might therefore be ideal for an individual hoping to work in health care but hoping to avoid a lot of the highly demanding curriculum of an academic program for a RN. It's important to note that a RN will be required to study difficult subjects such as microbiology, anatomy, and chemistry before completing a degree program that qualifies a student to take the RN exam.
Job Demands for RNs and LPNs
While the educational requirements are typically more stringent for an RN than they are for a LPN, it's important to note that everyday job demands may be more difficult for a LPN than they are for a RN. A LPN may be expected to perform very basic and mundane health care tasks such as emptying bedpans, bathing patients, and cleaning up after patients.
A RN can be expected to take on more involved and intellectually demanding job tasks. However, the exact job demands of a LPN vs. a RN will depend on where nurses find jobs and whether or not they have had the time in their current positions to move up and advance to positions with more responsibility.
When it comes to both pay and job opportunities, it pays to become an RN. If you are pursuing a nursing career and you don't have the time to complete a RN program, consider finding work as a LPN and then continuing your studies part time so that you can work your way up to the salary of a RN over time.
Are you interested in the field of nursing? Whether you want to start with a Diploma of Practical Nursing to become an LPN, or you're ready to dive into an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree to become an RN, ECPI University offers the educational background you'll need to start your nursing career. For more information, contact a helpful ECPI University admissions representative today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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