I am an LPN in the state of PA. I have been an LPN for 20 years and am currently taking liberal arts courses at my local community college. I am not sure if I want to continue in the nursing field. So far, I have only worked for a short time in the hospital setting, I worked post partum and the operating room. Then, I moved out of the hospital into a nursing home and then an insurance company and then an ob/gyn office. I have HATED my career as a nurse thus far. I got scared and thought that I couldn't handle hospital nursing so i chickened out and went into a nursing home. At the time I did that, 1981 nursing homes were NOTHING like they are today, and I recognize that much more skill is required in a nursing home today.
To make a very long story short, I have always wanted to work in the ER, but can an LPN get emergency nursing certification ? And can anyone tell me what the certifications required are ? I know acls, but i don't know what others would be helpful, i have read the abbreviations here in other posts, but i haven't a clue what they are. Where does one go to get certification ?
Finally, I am struggling to decide whether to stick with nursing and try some other areas to see what I like, but I am already 40 years old and I need to come up with a plan soon. My other choice is to become an elementary school teacher. I am so torn !! I was reading other posts in a section called would you recommend nursing as a career, and i got scared to death, especially the post from a nurse who says that nursing as a career is pathetic. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 9, '01
As far as I know---CPR open to everyone --- ACLS open to any medical personel with CPR (we have Techs with ACLS) --- PALS open to Medical Personel within reason ie:Rn's, Medics not sure about LPN's--- and as far as I know the two ENA courses ENPC and TNCC are open to RN's but I could be wrong.
Over the many years I've worked in ER I have worked with many LPN that I would not have traded for 2 Rn's. My favorite was an LPN who took the RN boards multiple times after completing the Rn course but just couldn't pass it (Test fear) I would trust him with my life (Rather him than some ER Docs I've worked with).
However, in the last decade most the places I have worked no longer use LPN's in the ER due to the changes in the nurse practice act in various states. I don't know the specifics.
I will tell you that I have been an Emergency Roon nurse for >20 years and I wouldn't trade those years for anything. I love my work and my profession. Sure I have bad days, but so does everybody else regardless what profession they are in.
The secret is to be flexable, never stay somewhere if you hate it or feel unhappy going to work every day. When you become dissatisfied with where you are working and can not fix what is wrong...move on to something or somewhere new. In those 20 years I have stayed as long as 8 years and as short as 2 years depending how I liked the facility and who I was working with.
This is a choice only you can make. For me there would be no choice. I couldn't imagine a worse job that having to face a room full of children day after day. I couldn't wait until my were grown up. We each have our own path to travel. What a pale, boring world it would be if we were all alike.
P.S. To get a feel while you make up your mind you might want to see if there is a job available at one of those Acute care centers popping up all over. (I.e Patient First, Immediate Care)
Oct 9, '01
We have LPNs that work in our ER, but they stay on the non monitored section of the area. When I was in the Army the LPNs worked the entire ER, and most were excellent. As an LPN you can "audit" the ENA sponsored classes (TNCC, ENPC) I think that it would be beneficial to sit in on these classes if you have the chance. Good luck deciding your future!!
Oct 10, '01
Like JJFrog said you can audit TNCC (trauma nursing core course) and ENPC (Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course). You pay a smaller fee, but are not allowed to take the test. You still learn a lot.
As for whether to continue nursing as your career, like a previous poster said, only you can make that decision. However, I think of being a nurse as not only a career, but a way of life. You have to do what makes you happy, what gives you a sense of purpose. Remember that most any job is stressful in one way or another. I would also like to recommend the book, Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul . It might help you remember why you became a nurse in the first place.
Good luck in whatever you do!
Oct 10, '01
Thank you to the three of you who responded to my plea for direction and help. I especially thank galenight because I do believe I need to remember WHY I became a nurse in the first place. I will be doing some serious soul searching and see what I come up with.
Nov 3, '01
I am a fellow LPN myself and am ACLS, PALS, AND NRP certified. As long as you are a licensed professional LPN, medic, EMT even non -licensed you can take it. I am auditing TNCC this November.
Go for it! I got all my certifications because I graduate with my RN in 6 months and just got an intership with a new hospital with a brand new-ER and they just applied for their Trauma license, they offered me a sweet deal! $5000 scholarship, $2000 sign-on bonus and gave me credit for being an LPN so my base will be higher than a new grad. I worked as an ER Tech for a year at a Level 1 Trauma center and learned the most I had ever had in any classroom, and job combined.
Expanding your knowledge base is awesome! You'll find how much you really already know and this just enhances your talents! Good Luck!
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