Should I complete an LVN program while on the waitlist for RN in San Diego?

  1. Here are my stats: 24, stay at home mother of 2 and part-time student. I will be finishing my last science prereq in March. I plan to get on the following waitlists in April: Southwestern, Grossmont, City College.

    Here are my options for what I could do while on the waitlist:
    1. Finish my Bachelors degree at University of San Diego (not in Nursing )

    2. Complete an LVN program (1 year)

    3. Work as a CNA while finish my Bachelors degree on line at NU

    Right now, the LVN option seems very appealing, as I could then do a bridge program and knock a year off my RN. But perhaps a Bachelors degree is more valuable??? I don't know, I feel so lost.

    What would you do?
    Last edit by SDMamma on Dec 17, '07
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   SDMamma
    Anyone?
  4. by   norcalRNstudent
    IMHO, you need to figure out your long term goals, and your financial situation now. In the short term, you'd make more money if you could work as an LVN while finishing your RN. However, if you think you'd ever be interested in pursuing your masters, the bachelors, even not in nursing, will fast track you into the masters programs in the future. How long do you anticipate being on the wait list?
  5. by   caliotter3
    You also should consider whether or not it is a given fact that you will make the waiting lists. Some schools are so jam packed with applications that there are hundreds of people who do not even get near the wait list. Whatever you do, I would continue to take classes that you can use toward a BS degree, in whatever field you choose. Sooner, or later, you will most likely want to pursue the BSN, so you can use the time to get started. If you can cut it academically and financially, you could take one class at a time while you are attending LVN school. Some people have said that they were doing just that and managing to pass all their classes. Of course, all this school talk also hinges on your finances. Can you afford to wait or to continue on in school without working? Lot's of things to take into consideration.
  6. by   SDMamma
    Quote from norcalRNstudent
    IMHO, you need to figure out your long term goals, and your financial situation now. In the short term, you'd make more money if you could work as an LVN while finishing your RN. However, if you think you'd ever be interested in pursuing your masters, the bachelors, even not in nursing, will fast track you into the masters programs in the future. How long do you anticipate being on the wait list?

    I definitely feel that my waitlist time is going to be 2-3 years minimum. I have maintained an overall gpa of 3.2, but my prerequisite sciences are all A's so far. I just began AP II today and then comes Micro.

    Financially, my husband and I are managing on his income alone, and in that sense, money is not the issue because we can manage my tuition, even if I chose the more expensive, LVN route at a trade school.

    The Bachelors route really appeals to me as well, since there are masters entery programs here in San Diego. But I dont really know what I'd study other than Psychology, as University of San Diego is mostly a liberal arts curriculum.
  7. by   SDMamma
    Quote from caliotter3
    You also should consider whether or not it is a given fact that you will make the waiting lists. Some schools are so jam packed with applications that there are hundreds of people who do not even get near the wait list. Whatever you do, I would continue to take classes that you can use toward a BS degree, in whatever field you choose. Sooner, or later, you will most likely want to pursue the BSN, so you can use the time to get started. If you can cut it academically and financially, you could take one class at a time while you are attending LVN school. Some people have said that they were doing just that and managing to pass all their classes. Of course, all this school talk also hinges on your finances. Can you afford to wait or to continue on in school without working? Lot's of things to take into consideration.

    I think its safe to say I will be admitted to the waitlist, based on my GPA, experience as a CNA and letters of rec from employers.

    I absolutely want to pursue Nursing to the Master's level at the very least, but I want to wait until my kids are alittle older before I take that level of responsibility on. Again, the finances are not really an issue. It will be alittle tight, but we are managing things.

    When I think about the length of that waiting list, I feel like the LVN route is really what I'd like to spend my time doing. And these LVN-ADN/BSN step up programs have a much shorter wait list.
  8. by   caliotter3
    Sounds like a good plan SDMamma. Best wishes for your success.
  9. by   Lindz
    Before you decide you should look around to see what the job opportunities are for LVNs. I know at my hospital here in SD we don't have LVNs. Do you have the opportunity to pursue a BSN now? State and PLNU have BSN program, not sure about State, but I don't remember PLNU having a wait list (five years ago.) And USD has a program for people with Bachelor degrees. It's an accelerated program and you graduate with a BSN and I'm not sure, but I think a CNS as well. I know the wait is frustrating. I have a friend who finally gave up after something like three years on the wait list.
  10. by   SDMamma
    Wow, another thing. I hadn't even considered it a possibility that I wouldn't be admitted after 3 years. That is a scary thought. Well, at the very least, I will start my LVN in April and maybe finish the bachelors a year later if I am still infact on the waitlist
  11. by   puresass
    i've heard the wait for the RN program is about three years now, at least at grossmont (don't know about southwestern or city). i've also heard that there is a wait for the LVN-RN step up program at grossmont, but i don't know how accurate that is. have you thought of applying to state for your BSN? (just asking b/c if you DO get your BA from USD or national, you wouldn't be able to go to SDSU for your BSN.)

    another thing to consider: the masters entry program at USD is VERRRRY competitive as far as admissions & from what i'd heard from the info session a couple years ago, it was really intense once you got into the program.

    the only other masters entry program i'm aware of in san diego is the oklahoma state program through sharp, but that program just started in august, so i know nothing about it other than the students i've seen at clinicals seem really friendly & their clinical instructor seemed nice.

    good luck in whatever you decide to do.
  12. by   Faeriewand
    Hi SDMomma, so glad you started this thread! I am an LVN student right now so I can give you the scoop from this angle! My advice is this: don't become an LVN and here's why. Alvarado Hospital does not hire LVN's. A representative from Sharp just told me they no longer hire LVN's. Mercy Hospital? not sure but they no longer accept our students from my program. Kaiser wants LVN's to have one year experience. They will hire them for clinics but always want experience.

    Everyone wants RN's. They can go anywhere and get hired experience or no.

    As you can see I really check around. I am so excited about becoming a nurse but I do not want to work in LTC. I attend school at Grossmont Health Occupations Center in Santee. LVN student graduating in January.

    As an RN you can work as an extern after one year of school. Not an option as an LVN. Many students where I go are sorry to have gone the LVN route. We just don't have many options.

    Just as soon as you are able get on the wait list at Grossmont, City, and everywhere else. They will tell you that the wait is 3 years, maybe 4. But everyone I"ve spoken to has gotten in after 2 years. Some in less. One girl I've spoken to recently was told that there was no possiblilty that she would get in that semester so she moved. Then they called her and she had to come back. It can't hurt to try the wait lists anyway at the CC's and other places. Just to save a place for you in the program in the future.

    That is just my 2cents. But you have to do what feels right for you.
  13. by   suzanne4
    And the cost of the bridge programs are quite expensive if you cannot get it done at the community college level. The private programs are in the neighborhood of $40,000 for less than a year of training.

    Just something else to consider.
  14. by   adawg67
    My advice as a career switcher is to forego the BA for now, get your LVN if you are for sure going to be on a waiting list for 1-2 yrs. That way you can work registry or for a great employer like Kaiser who offers to pay for your education and gives union represented employees a stipend to pay for 1 day off of work when in FT school.
    Either way you will have a back up to make $$$.

    you are young so don't sweat it-just make sure you have time to study about 40 hours a week while you are in school
    Good Luck

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