Help... L.V.N.? R.N.?

  1. I'm taking Human Physiology which is my last pre-requsite for the nursing program. In completion of this course, my decision is to attend Concorde Career Institute to become an L.V.N. After completing the L.V.N program, I will then enroll into a Bachelor's program for R.N. My question is.... what is some thoughts/ideas/personal outlooks on this??? I'm just really stumped at the moment because I work in retail, Anchor Blue, and it just seems to me that it would be beneficial to take a year off and go to school to become an L.V.N. and then enroll into a Bachelor's program for R.N. after a year but work as an L.V.N. while in the nursing program. Please, anyone help me. I'm currently in the hi-desert in California.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Cali
    If your ultimate goal is to become an RN, then why don't you just go for it instead of going through the LVN program. Also, you said that after working as an LVN for a year, you will start the RN program, Why waste a whole year? Personally I just feel like it would be a waste of your time and money to go through an LVN program when you really want to be an RN.
  4. by   CA CoCoRN
    First of all, realize that working as an LVN may not benefit you much going through the RN program. Financially: you'll be starting as a new grad LVN...and LVN wages don't pay all that much. I don't know what retail pays, but if you get a pretty good hourly (more than $10 or $11/hr) then you'd pretty much be making what LVNs start at. As an LVN you can make more by working Registry, however, you MUST have experience to get that money.

    Practice: LVN practice is vastly different from a medical standpoint. You don't even think on the same level as an RN. From assessment to advanced skills...you won't have practical experience as an LVN.

    Time: why spend the time going for your LVN, then going into a three to four year track that it will take you to get your RN. You CAN NOT challenge NCLEX-RN, even if you're an LVN. If you are anxious to get to nursing, go to a two year RN, with the foreknowledge that you'll go back for your four year.

    At least, you'll start at RN wages, and build on your RN knowledge, rather than LVN-->RN.
  5. by   bukko
    I have a different opinion on LVN vs. RN. I had no medical background when I switched careers into nursing. I chose an LPN course (different state, different title) because I could finish in one year. I did not have confidence in my medical ability, so I wanted a position where I could be under the umbrella of higher-skilled nurses.
    If you go the LVN route, you will get to be a nurse faster. You can support yourself financially as a part-time LVN while taking RN classes. In case you do not like the profession after LVN, you will not have spent two years of your life on a blind alley. You will not have to learn so much all at once. But most importantly, you will get more time to learn how to be a good nurse before you go for that RN.
    It's a true cliche that it takes 5 years to become a good nurse. (Took me 10, actually.) It's not easy to adopt the mindset that you sometimes have to make patients do painful things to get better, like getting out of bed after surgery. You'll get seasoned as an LVN with someone else to turn to when your patient starts breathing funny and you don't know why.
    I'm glad I started at a lower level, because I would have been a substandard RN right out of the box.
  6. by   CA CoCoRN
    bukko,
    you know what?? I am so glad you posted that. I am the type of person who's always wanted to know what the problem is/was, and know how to alleviate it/fix it, what might exascerbate it, etc. That is the reason I never stopped on the way to becoming an RN. I always wanted to be "top nurse" collaborating with the physician, not just "following orders". (I didn't become an MD because I don't like the hours in field of practice I'd go into...and a couple other reasons).

    However, I've always based my viewpoint on other RNs on mine. Never have I taken into account why someone would become an LVN/PN and stay there or wait before seeking their RN. For some, RN is a position that one must grow into...and with your post I realize that now.

    It also helps me re-evaluate an LVN turned RN that I am currently precepting. I won't go into the details of that...but I will certainly try to groom her more to her new role of RN in OB, before I reject her....as I was PAST ready to do.
  7. by   waves
    bukko- i'm with you. i decided to try nursing in my late 30's. i wanted to know what i was getting myself into before i buried my head in books for 5 years, only to find out it wasn't for me.

    is it true starting lvn's only make $10-15 an hour in southern cali? that's what a CNA makes up here in rural northern california. the local hospitals are all trying to help the lvn's they have move to RN licensure, and only can hire limited numbers of LVNs. but the more north and more rural you go, the less an LVN is poo-poo'd. folks are hard up for nurses...they do what they can to meet the laws and make money! no nurses = no patients = no money!

    by the way, i'm still in my LVN program. i'm already looking into the RN options because the length of time it'll take for me to finish all my pre-req's and file applications. and i do expect to be able to pay the bills as an LVN...money ain't that bad!
  8. by   tyk80
    Thank you so much for your input on my question. I've been struggling with the thought of "what to do?" I've made my decision to start the VN program starting JUNE 16TH at Concorde Career Institute. Working in retail just doesn't pay enough for bills. So, I figure while going to school for the RN program, I can gain experience in the field. Competition is soooo stiff out here in So. California nursing, it's rediculous. Upon completion of Human Physiology this semester, I can only imagine the drama that will occur after the course is finished. Everyone in the class already is making enemies with each other because they want to get into the nursing program or someone taking their spot. I figured the VN program is an alternative to all of this. I will have a better chance getting into the bachelor's program opposed to somene that is not a VN already. Good thing is, I've completed all my prerequisites for bachelor's in nursing though. So, I think I'm just a step ahead. My concern was is that beneficial. I don't know. The VN's here make around 17-18.25. A girl in my class, Natasha, is actually the one that has persuaded me to join the VN program. She's a VN now here in So. California and just graduated as a VN in August 03'. She's enrolled into the bachelor's program starting in August 04' at a Cal. State college.

  9. by   nurseunderwater
    Quote from bukko
    I have a different opinion on LVN vs. RN. I had no medical background when I switched careers into nursing. I chose an LPN course (different state, different title) because I could finish in one year. I did not have confidence in my medical ability, so I wanted a position where I could be under the umbrella of higher-skilled nurses.
    If you go the LVN route, you will get to be a nurse faster. You can support yourself financially as a part-time LVN while taking RN classes. In case you do not like the profession after LVN, you will not have spent two years of your life on a blind alley. You will not have to learn so much all at once. But most importantly, you will get more time to learn how to be a good nurse before you go for that RN.
    .
    I agree wholeheartedly

    I am also going this route. I had a great experience in LPN school, had my kids and am now going back for my BSN. I know that (this is just me guys) my previous schooling, years of experience, life and nursing, are greatly benifitting now. I can't imagine just going striaght through and having to learn even more at one time..(um, adding in the kids, laundry, work, marriage, friends, etc - ad infinitum...).. :uhoh21:
  10. by   Sheri257
    Just a note of caution. While LVN experience can be helpful before becoming an RN, there have been reports of hospitals cutting back on LVNs, CNAs and other support staff to make room in the budget to hire more RNs because of California's new RN ratio law.

    So you may want to check out the job market and make sure the opportunities are still going to be there.

    Also, becoming an LVN can help you save some RN school time. However, you also have to take the LVN challenge exams, and 50 percent of the people who take those fail and end up having to do the two full years anyway, at least at my ADN program. So you may want to go ahead and do the direct RN route if you're considering those kind of options.

    I'm not necessarily saying you shouldn't go through with your LVN plans. But these are other factors you may want to research and consider.

    :spin:
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 19, '04
  11. by   CA CoCoRN
    Right...I cosign Lizz on that point.

    E.g., there are many areas in which LVN experience will benefit one, but also areas in which it will not since your practice as an LVN differs. I work in L & D. The only manner in which we use LVNs are as our scrub techs for operative deliveries. While SOME hospitals do use them to recover post partum patients....we don't even do that since an LVN can't hang Pitocin mixed solutions and we have many sick patients (PIH, HELLP syndrome, Pre-eclamptic/Eclamptic, etc) who have piggybacked meds. We have a very busy unit, and once we turn over a patient, we need to not worry about said patient. So instead of LVNs, we've just hired RNs to assume immediate post delivery care. Therefore, the only L & D experience one may get would be in the surgical suite...which tells nothing about what you do in the LDR once you're an RN.

    Also, the experience may or may not be beneficial because the extent of knowledge that is required of an RN is not required as an LVN...therefore, you'll still be learning anew for your RN assessment, etc.

    And because of this difference in the knowledge base, many LVNs do not succeed, at first, when going on the RN "fast track". Be cognizant that while you are a valued part of the healthcare team as an LVN, don't be too cocky that your LVN knowledge and experience will automatically give you an edge in becoming an RN.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    In case this info may be useful to one of you.

    ... California Board of Registered Nursing and by the. National League for Nursing.Application to the BSN ... nurs/.Advanced Placement Admissions for LVNsApplicants who hold LVN licenses may ...
    http://www.csuchico.edu/catalog/cat0...grams/nurs.pdf - 366k -
  13. by   sgherzi4
    Hi Waves;
    I have been an LVN for 25 years and just now @ the ripe 'ol age of 49 (almost!) am thinking about going back for my RN. Lack of respect and poor pay are the main reasons. Once you have some experience as an LVN you can get into some RN programs a bit easier. By the way, what hospitals in No. CA are "helping the LVN's ro become RN's?". I live and work in Tehachapi, CA
  14. by   moliuchick
    Quote from tyk80
    Thank you so much for your input on my question. I've been struggling with the thought of "what to do?" I've made my decision to start the VN program starting JUNE 16TH at Concorde Career Institute. Working in retail just doesn't pay enough for bills. So, I figure while going to school for the RN program, I can gain experience in the field. Competition is soooo stiff out here in So. California nursing, it's rediculous. Upon completion of Human Physiology this semester, I can only imagine the drama that will occur after the course is finished. Everyone in the class already is making enemies with each other because they want to get into the nursing program or someone taking their spot. I figured the VN program is an alternative to all of this. I will have a better chance getting into the bachelor's program opposed to somene that is not a VN already. Good thing is, I've completed all my prerequisites for bachelor's in nursing though. So, I think I'm just a step ahead. My concern was is that beneficial. I don't know. The VN's here make around 17-18.25. A girl in my class, Natasha, is actually the one that has persuaded me to join the VN program. She's a VN now here in So. California and just graduated as a VN in August 03'. She's enrolled into the bachelor's program starting in August 04' at a Cal. State college.
    :stone


    I am just wondering why you don't want to enroll in the 2yr RN program. I know that PPC in Pasadena has the 2 yr RN program and they are not the only college that has it. If you still want a BS degree, you can do it later after you become an RN. A lot of Hospitals will pay you to go to school.

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