What education options are available for an LPN who doesn’t want to be an RN?

By | 2021-03-12T15:39:04-05:00 August 28th, 2015|11 Comments

Dear Donna,

I have been an LPN for 15 years. I would like to further my education but do not want to become an RN. What do you suggest?

Wants to Go Back to School


Dear Wants to Go Back to School,

It’s great that you want to further your formal education, and you don’t have to become an RN to do so. In fact, you have many other options.
Many LPNs (and RNs) go back to school to obtain degrees in areas such as healthcare management, healthcare information technology, public health, health education and even majors such as journalism and communications. All of these have relevance in healthcare. Combined with your nursing background, this can make for a dynamic professional package.
When choosing a major, find a program with coursework and curriculum that is interesting and exciting to you. What matters is that you get the degree. The actual major is less important. The one exception is if you want to teach nursing, in which case you typically need a degree in nursing. For additional tips and advice for choosing a major and other practical aspects of returning to school, read the article “How to get back to school.”

Best wishes,


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About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of DonnaCardillo.com. Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.


  1. Avatar
    Lost Nurse September 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    WOW! Going through the same thing. I’ve been an LPN for 20 years and I and exhausted, overwhelmed and just need out.
    Nice to know I’m not alone, but also have no idea where to go.

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    Jamie January 9, 2019 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    frustrated LPN

    I am totally going through this same senario. I am tired of patient care, I dont want to invest 3-4 years in college to get my RN. I am looking for some options that will help me make it through to retirement.

  3. Avatar
    Vikki Subia Chavira February 3, 2019 at 8:49 am - Reply

    I too am feeling all the same exact things if the others. I am fatigued, i donot have the energy for anither 3 to 4 years to become an rn but i do want to research better options especially beibg that i am quickly agibg, still need to work. What in the world can an LVN do im sure there has got to be better options for us beyond . Lord help us

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    Bruce white February 10, 2019 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    I am a LPN with a bachelor degree in science and Associate Degree I am tired of nursing what else can I do

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    Lena Parker April 6, 2019 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I feel the same as the above feel. I been a LPN for 15 years. I want out of nursing. What else can I do and make decent money?

  6. Avatar
    Laronda Mccampbell March 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Laronda Mccampbell, I’ve been a LVN for 25years, and I have felt and still do have the feelings about Nursing as you all do. I was out of work for a year and took that time to take classes in medical billing and coding. Sent to a dental office to do internship but was not trained in that area. Couldn’t find a job. Evey medical office only wanted to offer me a Nursing job. And im still having that problem for any medical office work

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    Ray Parker Sr May 19, 2020 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    I’m going through this same phase right now. I have been an LPN now for almost 17 yrs and l’m truly burnt out and tired of doing patient care and all the politics and deceitfulness in this field. I need to find a job where l can continue making the same income if not more and be excited about going to work on a daily basis. I thought about putting my hat in to physical therapy as a career change. I’m ok with doing 4 years. The issue is the funding. Where can l find funding.

  8. Avatar
    DAMILOLA ABIODUN March 20, 2021 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    What advice can you give to students that are trying to study LPN ?

  9. Avatar
    Julie April 22, 2021 at 11:34 am - Reply


    As a career LPN (30 years). Continue school to your RN and don’t stop at LPN. BEST advice for you. LPNs don’t get paid as well and do much of the same work in certain environments and are very limited and treated much less than. It’s exhausting.

  10. Avatar
    Janice Lombardi March 25, 2022 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Can a LPN get a BSN?

    • Sallie Jimenez
      Sallie Jimenez April 30, 2022 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Hello Janice,

      Yes, a licensed practical nurse can earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It is often the case that individuals enter nursing as CNAs and LPNs and find that they enjoy the field, so they decide to continue their schooling, become RNs and complete bachelor’s degree in nursing programs.

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