I've read tons of threads on whether to get an LPN first or just go for RN, but if anyone from Arkansas (especially the NW area) has any opinions on the matter, I'd love to hear them.
As far as I know (I have no experience yet...I'm going to a CNA class in the Spring), I wouldn't mind working in LTC for several years. And it appears that as a new LPN grad in NW Arkansas, I can make the same amount of money in LTC as a new grad RN.
I have a child, and I'm really broke now, so making a decent income asap is really appealing. I can go to an LPN programin Joplin in Aug that will only take 10 months. But my ultimate goal is BSN and then NP, so I'm still so confused at which path I should take. It seems that most bridge programs only give you a few credit hours for having an LPN. It's like a waste of time/money if your ultimate goal is BSN. All the options are totally overwhelming me at this point.
Feb 12, '13
LPN is a great option, especially since you need money ASAP. Like you, I have a similar problem. I already have a Bachelor's degree in education but decided to pursue my real passion in healthcare instead of the classroom--former science teacher. I'd like to enroll in an RN program but that's going to take a good 2-years to complete versus a 1-year LPN program. LPNs typically will find jobs in nursing hopes, they're much cheaper for the facility, clinics and in some hospitals. I an planning to attend Baptist Schools in Little Rock for Practical Nursing in the Fall.
Feb 13, '13
save your money and go straight into an RN program. UALR can get you an ADN in 18 months if you qualify for their fast track. more and more hospitals are doing away with LPNs, more and more of them are also requiring a BSN. if you just want to stick to the LPN track, you can still find jobs at nursing homes and may be at the VA. Good luck!
forgot to add: my wife was thinking about doing an LPN program, but when we did the math, what she would've paid for tuition vs what she would've ended up making as an LPN, she would've broken even if she just not gotten her LPN and stuck to her $11/hr job. new RNs make $20+/hr.
Feb 19, '13
Yes, I think it's a bad idea. You will have wasted some time. Another thought is the lottery scholarship. I am pursuing my BSN after getting a two year degree years ago in an unrelated field. This meant I needed to take many classes from the beginning since things such as Botany and Ichthyology will not satisfy the A&P requirements-haha. The point is, I exceeded the number of hours for the scholarship last year and poof! there went 2500 dollars a semester. I don't recommend you take a minor either, since every class you take will count, even if you have not gotten your bachelor's yet in anything. That was my error-believing the scholarship would pay for 8 semesters. I never had the scholarship years ago and only got paid three semesters before I was cut off. You will need that money while pursuing your BSN. If you are in a hurry now, I recommend an ADN program and then bridge before the ADN programs start going away as well. (UAFS has already admitted their last ADN class last Aug.)
Feb 19, '13
Thanks for all the advice.
I didn't even know about the lottery scholarship. I will have to look into that!
Feb 21, '13
I don't know what part of AR you're in, but UACCB in Batesville has a generic entry RN option that is only one semester longer the LPN program. I just finished it and its intense but doable.