Most people who wish to enter the nursing profession think that the LPN degree is not worth their effort. There are two main nursing degrees - the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) degree and the RN (Registered Nurse Degree). An LPN will have to perform more tasks at the patient level and will get to interact with the families of the patients. In that way, the LPN's duty is more at the basic level. The RN's job is more managerial in nature.
An important point here is that the LPN is answerable to the RN. They have to report to the registered nurse about their activities and in most cases even seek directions from them. The registered nurses do not interact much with the patients or their families, but they do frame instructions for the licensed practical nurses on how they must go about doing this. Additionally, the RNs have to look into managing the tasks in the healthcare environment and also keep up with accounting responsibilities.
Looking at the job profiles of the two professions, it does seem that the RN's work is much more difficult than that of the LPN. And it is officially so, because the RN stands to get a better salary than the LPN.
It is this math that lures more of the nursing community to try for RN professions. Even if they have qualified and are working as LPNs, they will want to bridge the gap from being an LPN to being an RN so that they can qualify for the higher pay perks. If one is an LPN, a bit of experience and the right qualifying course can make them a higher paid RN.
However, not everyone in the nursing profession is averse to being an LPN. This medical responsibility has its own benefits. Firstly, LPN nursing degree programs typically take only a year of the student's life, while to become an RN, you will need to spend three to four years of your life. People like to go through the LPN route because they spend only one year and they can see what the nursing care profession is all about. If they want to move out of this profession, they will have wasted only one year. In any case, becoming an RN if you are a practicing LPN is not difficult.
Also, there is great competition in the community to become an RN. Instead of waiting to start the RN's qualifying education, people prefer going ahead and becoming an LPN, which also gives them insight into the profession.
Though the LPN works under the baton of the RN, the profession gives them a chance to interact with patients and their families better. They can also build their network within the community and evolve. An RN's job is too restrictive and does not allow as many human interrelationships as some people would like. This is why many people prefer to stay LPNs even though they can easily qualify to become an RN. They claim to get better job satisfaction being an LPN.
Today, a LPN degree is in high demand; the profession is ranking as high as paralegal and technician jobs. This is a good vantage point for the nursing profession too. You may decide to remain an LPN or graduate onto becoming an RN.