Quote from PWnurse
I'm 37/male and have been accepted to a nursing program (Aug 2004) at a community college (Otero Junior). I recently spoke with an advisor at another CC and because I already have a Bachelors degree, she strongly recommeded I pursue one of the accelerated BSN programs (Metro State just started one). When I punch the numbers I figure I'll be in debt for $38,000.00+, after I pay for tuition and suplement my living expenses if I go the accelerated BSN route. Or-I could spend two semesters at a community college, get my LPN and owe about. $15,000. (tuition/living exp). I have higher ambitions than an LPN, but I'm not too keen on accumulating all that debt for a occupation that doesn't pay all that well. My plan is to get my foot in the door and have my employer pay for the remainder of my education.
Is what I'm thinking realistic or should I go after the BSN now?
On average, how much will Denver hospitals reimburse for tuition?
What can I expect to make as an LPN straight out of school (Denver metro area)?
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Dear Single Dad...
I think you should just shoot for the RN. As a new grad, you would be making about as much per hour as an LPN with years of experienced. Your earning capacity will be greater in 5 years as an RN than as an LPN.
I believe in the long run, since you do hope to do more than just obtain a practical nurses license, you will be happier. Especially since it costs about the same for you to first earn the LPN, and then go back and get the RN. Besides other things can come up once the LPN was earned that might keep you from returning and obtaining the RN longer than you expected.
As an RN, you will have more options in where you work and your earning capacity. As an LPN, it is limited for most people (yes, there is the occassional "dream jobs").
You might be able to pick up a scholarship or grants. The Veterans Administration still have the valor program, where they give you a stipence to live on, pay for tuition and books, and then you "owe" them a year's worth of work for every year they pay for (you might have to check into this one more as it has been a while since I have actually known anyone using this method). They only award a very few each year, so it is highly competative and a pretty big feather in your cap if you get it.
Good luck with your decision.