My plan to get my RN

  1. 0
    Hello ladies,


    This will be a long post, so I appreciate in advance anyone who reads it through. I think I've thought this through. I decided to post this here to get any feedback anyone with more experience might have.


    My ultimate goal is to become an RN. I want to be in the medical field and I've always wanted to be a nurse but, for a variety of reasons, never took the plunge (regretfully.) I'm in transition now and this is the time for me to make my move, if ever.

    Right now I am 32, unemployed, with an AA degree in communications from about 12 years ago, with a professional history in office management and advertising/marketing sales.


    Recently moved to CT with my child (single parent, no support from his father) - 10 year old, just got him started in his new middle school here and he loves it (thankfully.)


    I'm living back at home with my parents and I am on unemployment. I discovered a program via unemployment that will (possibly) continue my benefits while I am in school but this is limited to programs that will be completed within 24 months. I've applied - waiting to hear back.


    I am currently scheduled to begin a Medical Assistant Certification Program on the 24th. I will also be volunteering at the local hospital beginning about the same time, hopefully for the duration of my program. This program also features an externship that I hope will help me find a job. Ideally, I'll work as an MA for a few years, pay off some of my loans, and then when my son is in high school and even more independent, I can go back and get my RN. I'll have the time to fully commit to the rigors of an RN program the way I'd like too.


    Pros:
    • .This will get my foot in the door in the medical field
    • .The program is 1 year long, within the requirements of the unemployment program
    • .The program fits around my son's school schedule perfectly, allowing me to be there as he transitions into middle school and into the new area (plus, I've been away from his for years working 70+ hours a week in downtown Manhattan!)
    • .The program is 5 minutes from my house (again, schedule bonus)
    • .If approved for the unemployment program, I won't have to work while I am in school (helping me do better in school, volunteer, and raise my kid)
    Cons:
    • .This will max out all my available student loans (I used most of it up trying to complete my BS after my son was born, unsuccessfully, and fully used up my pell grant)
    • .I still won't be a nurse
    • .I'll be quite a bit older than most nursing students, probably late 30s before I can even start the RN program
    I've considered going for an LPN. The LPN program, while slightly more expensive, is also a year. A few issues with this:
    • The closest program is about 50 mins away. This commute, plus the clinical hours required, will cause a child care issue and, honestly, I'm afraid of the weather keeping me from getting to school! (the snow gets pretty insane up here)
    • There seems to be problems w/ LPNs getting jobs here in CT, other than in nursing homes (correct me if I am wrong)
    I considered going into an ADN program, for obvious reasons, but the issues with this are:
    • .I do not have enough loans left to cover this (absolutely cannot pay out of pocket)
    • .I can't use the same amount of loans for a 2nd AA (unfortunately)
    • .The nearest program is also about 30 mins away


    There is a BSN program nearby, about 10 minutes away, however, I am pretty sure I can't afford it. It'll be a much longer program, longer than the unemployment program will allow, and I can't be out of work that long nor expect my parents to support me that long. I am pretty sure I can't also work while completing this program. And, well, again, my son needs me. (I am going to meet with an advisor, just in case, but it's a long long long shot.)


    I basically have 1 year and $x to make this transition happen. I feel like I have an opportunity here, but there are real restrictions. I need to make a decision. I'm just not sure I'm taking the right path.


    Any feedback is appreciated.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hello!*This all sounds reasonable and doable, except for those pesky student loans. *This info is purely FYI and hopefully you will find it helpful. I too have crazy student loans and other bills. *Maybe look into being a patient care technician, not all states offer this, but in Ct you can be licensed. *You need CPR and a CNa license before starting to train. Most of the Ct community colleges offer the program for 2000.00 I believe, which is way less then most medical assistant programs *The programs are 12 weeks, and Cna is about 8-10 if you need that first. *The salary is about the same, or better depending on where you live and where you get hired. *I am going to do this right before nursing school so I can work part-time while in school. *Don't let finances stop you. As a unemployed single mom you should be able to get a grant. *Also contact your local ctworks or google it, you may be able to get some of your training paid for.I am also living back at home, close to your age too. * Best of luck, and things can only get better.
  5. 0
    Quote from toonsis
    Hello!*This all sounds reasonable and doable, except for those pesky student loans. *This info is purely FYI and hopefully you will find it helpful. I too have crazy student loans and other bills. *Maybe look into being a patient care technician, not all states offer this, but in Ct you can be licensed. *You need CPR and a CNa license before starting to train. Most of the Ct community colleges offer the program for 2000.00 I believe, which is way less then most medical assistant programs *The programs are 12 weeks, and Cna is about 8-10 if you need that first. *The salary is about the same, or better depending on where you live and where you get hired. *I am going to do this right before nursing school so I can work part-time while in school. *Don't let finances stop you. As a unemployed single mom you should be able to get a grant. *Also contact your local ctworks or google it, you may be able to get some of your training paid for.I am also living back at home, close to your age too. * Best of luck, and things can only get better.
    While this is sound advice, I would offer this...do not waste your time or money on the so called "pct" training...simply get your CNA cert. and start working. The "pct" courses are what you will learn working for several months in a LTC etc... Employers want to know you have actual hands on experience, not that you took a bunch of classes that told you about how to do it! For instance this so called phlebotomy cert. most PCT programs dupe people into paying for...In CT...PCT's very rarely if ever draw blood...guess what? To do that you must be a phlebotomist...not spend hundreds of dollars learning about what phlebotomy is?!I considered spending all that money and when I was told by the administrator of a local and very reputable comm. college, that there is no recognized certification for pct and that I could essentially learn it all on the job, I chose to work. Soon after starting in a LTC I was hired at a local hospital and low and behold...I am called a PCT! Dont get caught on the "label" cna, pct, na etc...etc...its all the same... Same duties as a CNA except at the hospital they train you...if you so desire...in all of the other skills. I say save your money and work as a CNA...don't get duped into the PCT courses...besides I know a bunch of people that took the PCT courses after our CNA class and here it is over a year later...they have no real experience and...no job!

    One more thing...go for the RN...If you do the LPN you will only be able to work more or less in a LTC...If that is what you want go for it...good luck! You can do it!
  6. 0
    I agree with the above posters, CNA training will show you more of what nursing truly is. All of your options are sound it's just determining what's best for you.

    As you stated from what I've heard and seen most LPN positions are being weaned out of the major hospitals. The only hospital that I know of off hand that still uses them is the UConn Health center.

    Either an ADN or a BSN will help you in the field, like you said the ADN are much cheaper when compared to the BSN and you can utilize the bridge programs later on (RN to BSN). There's a debate going on now because a lot of hospitals are hiring BSN nurses and not nearly as many ADN. This is just something to keep in mind when you do choose to go back to school; I think waiting till your son is in High School will be better for you.

    Maybe you can look into both the ADN and BSN program and see if you can take maybe 2 classes each semester and only go part time? If you plan on working throughout school that might be a better option for you. Nursing school is hard enough on it's own without worrying about bills, childcare etc. It will take you twice as long but it might be a more feasible option for you then living off of loans or being dependent on your family. Look into every option you can; it can't hurt to have all the knowledge for all options to make your dreams feasible.

    I wish you the best of luck!


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