Considering LPN school--Questions....

  1. Hello all. I do find this forum quite helpful. My question is this. I am really considering becoming a nurse. Based on my specific set of circumstances, I have a question I was wondering if someonw might give me some guidance on. I am 34 yo male. I have a M.S. in computer science which I just completed. Why do I consider nursing? I always have, but for some rason or another, I never took the plunge and went back to school because of timing, money, etc. (You know). Well now I am married with a wonderful wife and daughter (18 mos). My life was recently turned upside down when I got laid off from my nice comfortable secure job. Here I have a young daughter, a mortgage to pay AND a new house currently under construction. What fun trying to sort all of this out! In many ways I am at rock bottom. In many ways I believe that everthing happens for a reason and I definitely have a lot of experience under my belt with work, school, and life in general. Anyhow, contrary to popular belief, there is absolutely no career stability in technology or computers and very fuew jobs. Trust me! Many people think this is not true, but I know what I'm talking about in this area. Any how, I have looked at several nursing options and its really not do-able for me to take pre-reqs right now for 2 years and then be on a waiting list for RN school. What I am considering is LPN school which starts this August 2005. I can be finished in 9 months going full time, fully accredited school. Because I am considered a "dislocated worker" for being laid off, I can get government asst from the county I live in to pay for about 80% of the program and pay my day care expense while going. My goal would be to take acouple of pre-reqs toward an RN or BSN at the same time. The way I look at it, I can be in a position to find steady work in about 9 mnths when the school is over. From here I can work some odd hr shifts maybe and keep my girl home from day care ($700 a mnth). All the while, I can contiue on toward a BSN or RN program from somewhere that may allow me to take classes on line or through distance learning and have my employer assist with expenses toward this goal. I already have a M.S. so I wuld like to contiue on and get a BSN. I just feel based on my circumstance, I might be better getting an LPN first and htiing the gound running. What do you all think?????? Any input is much appreciated. Also, yes I have researched nursing quite a bit (my sisters are nurses). I know the good, bad, and ugly about it. Whenever I hear them having a bad day, I remind them that they are gainfully employed and could get a job about anywhere they want. I remind them that my wife and I lost 60% of our income over night, have a child to feed, a house under construction, and just spent $15 grand on a masters degree. This was "cash". I sure wish I had that money now! Anyhow, sorry for the LLLOOONNNGGG question.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   meownsmile
    If you already have a M.S., why dont you go ahead and get a ADN instead of LPN? Would be approximately the same amount of time, with better pay for RN. I spent 8 years working as a LPN and am now a RN and wish like heck id gone ahead and done the RN first.
    I'd say make the sacrifice and do the RN instead, you can always go back and get the BSN if you want while you are making RN wages.
  4. by   Boston-RN
    Hey there,

    My circumstances aren't the exact same as you but they are in a way as I have mortgage etc to pay. I start the LPN program in Sept and I plan on going on to RN to BSN and so on. I decided on this route because there was no waiting lists, no pre-reqs and I could be working as a nurse in 9 months and then bridge later and p/t bridge is a year. The ADN program in my area has a 1.5 yr wait list not including pre-reqs that had to be done before you can even apply.

    That seems to be the route a lot of people are taking so you're not the only one.

    And LPN to RN bridge programs in my area don't have wait lists either so LPN to RN ends up taking the same amount of time as the RN and there's no wait. Go Figure.

    Good Luck and I hope everything works out.
  5. by   johnwe
    Quote from MAnurseHopeful
    Hey there,

    My circumstances aren't the exact same as you but they are in a way as I have mortgage etc to pay. I start the LPN program in Sept and I plan on going on to RN to BSN and so on. I decided on this route because there was no waiting lists, no pre-reqs and I could be working as a nurse in 9 months and then bridge later and p/t bridge is a year. The ADN program in my area has a 1.5 yr wait list not including pre-reqs that had to be done before you can even apply.

    That seems to be the route a lot of people are taking so you're not the only one.

    And LPN to RN bridge programs in my area don't have wait lists either so LPN to RN ends up taking the same amount of time as the RN and there's no wait. Go Figure.

    Good Luck and I hope everything works out.

    This is why I am looking at the LPN route. There is currently a 2 yr waiting list for the ADN program in my area. I still have some pre-reqs to take, so I would actually have to wait about 3 yrs at least before I even started the ADN program. Through my evaluation of all of this, I could get the LPN and then bridge to RN or do an LPN > BSN program while working. I've had some people tell me just go for the RN. My sisters even tell me this (they're nurses)That IS what I'm doing, I just feel I have to take a specific route to get there based on my circumstances. Thanks for both of the replies.
  6. by   bmw804
    Quote from johnwe
    This is why I am looking at the LPN route. There is currently a 2 yr waiting list for the ADN program in my area. I still have some pre-reqs to take, so I would actually have to wait about 3 yrs at least before I even started the ADN program. Through my evaluation of all of this, I could get the LPN and then bridge to RN or do an LPN > BSN program while working. I've had some people tell me just go for the RN. My sisters even tell me this (they're nurses)That IS what I'm doing, I just feel I have to take a specific route to get there based on my circumstances. Thanks for both of the replies.
    I am in a similar situation, finishing my master's in computer science, but I no longer have the desire to sit in a cubicle for over 8 hours and put up with corporate issues. I started taking LPN courses last semester, but I said what is the point and I will have to keep continuing my education. I want to get it done and over with. I have been accepted into a traditional BSN program. I had applied for the accelerated 16 month program, but the class was already full. After the first set of clinicals I can apply for a student tech position. I figured by the time I would have been done with the LPN program I could be working in the field already as a student nurse while continuing my studies at the same time.
  7. by   LPN1974
    Sounds to me you've already got yourself convinced and don't need any persuading from anyone.
    Go for it. At least it will be dependable work and you can advance on up the scale, as you say, in time.
    Just one little piece of advice....according to where you live, places are starting to not uses LPNs as much. There are alot of threads on here about that, so check out the job situation available for your area, before you waste time on LPN in your area.
    What kind of work does your wife do?
    If she isn't already a nurse, after YOU get finished, she might want to consider going to school also.
  8. by   fallonrn
    Complete an RN program instead of LPN program you will be much better off. Having a master's degree there are some RN programs that are just one year in length if you already have a bachelor's degree. Look into those programs as well.
  9. by   PhoenixGirl
    I'm doing something similar to what you want to do. I signed up for an LPN program at my local CC. I had to wait awhile to get in, so in the meantime I completed more of the prereqs for the RN program.
    Now, in my county, the LPN program is the same thing as the first two blocks of the RN program, you just don't need any prereqs, and particular CC I am going to doesn't offer the 3rd and 4th blocks to acheive my RN.
    The LPN program I'm doing is transferrable though, to another CC in my area that does offer the 3rd and 4th blocks. So after I'm finished with this LPN program, I will finish up the last 2 of my prereqs, and then apply to the RN program. The counselor at another CC I called said there is no wait to get into the LPN-RN bridge because of all the people that drop out during the first two blocks.

    My LPN program was approx. $1000 more expensive than just going straight into an RN program, but I have the advantage of having a set start date, not being entered into a lottery.

    If the LPN program you are talking about transfers to the ADN programs in your area, I'd say you have little to loose.

    Sorry to hear about your job situation. That sucks.

    Rebecca
  10. by   NurseFirst
    ...and I can appreciate the issues around getting and keeping hi tech jobs, especially software jobs. (Isn't the internet wonderul !?! ) You are still young; let me tell you, nursing is far more accommodating to those gray of hair than is the hi tech industry. I'll never forget the look of one twenty-something who was to interview me when he saw my gray hair. I think the interview as much as ended there. (Prior to that I had never, ever had a problem getting a job in hi tech; it was, of course, simultaneous with the dot.com bomb.)

    I have been, in my spare time, taking some classes so I have enough information to set up a web page. The purpose of the webpage is to host a forum for people (especially "re-entry" students) who are interested in health care professions. I'm always asking people, and investigating and looking into all kinds of health professions.

    This really came about because I was endeavoring to get into an RN program. I was very fortunate as I was the last class in my school to be made up of all the completely qualified candidates that applied. Subsequent classes have been chosen by lottery. BY ALL MEANS if I were in your position I would do it the way you've figured out. I have even recommended to some people that if they are on the RN waiting list, or while doing RN pre-reqs, apply to the LVN program--they can be out and working, or out and doing a bridge program in less time than it would have taken to become an RN. This is especially true where the displaced worker programs have a time limit between the time you have been laid off and the time that you start a re-training program.

    The only other reasonable (imo) alternative, but for which you probably would not be able to get displaced worker training for, is the "Master's Entry" programs for people who already have a bachelor's degree. These programs usually take 12-15 months and then you get your RN; after that you get into a Master's program. I think some have been converted simply to help people with bachelor's degree get RNs, without going on to master's programs. The problem with these programs is that there is about a year turnaround between application and start-date (apply in the fall for the following fall.)

    Even if you only had an LVN, you still might be able to get some work in nursing informatics, with your hi tech background.

    Good luck, and keep us in the loop!

    NurseFirst
  11. by   Cameelrn
    Quote from johnwe
    Hello all. I do find this forum quite helpful. My question is this. I am really considering becoming a nurse. Based on my specific set of circumstances, I have a question I was wondering if someonw might give me some guidance on. I am 34 yo male. I have a M.S. in computer science which I just completed. Why do I consider nursing? I always have, but for some rason or another, I never took the plunge and went back to school because of timing, money, etc. (You know). Well now I am married with a wonderful wife and daughter (18 mos). My life was recently turned upside down when I got laid off from my nice comfortable secure job. Here I have a young daughter, a mortgage to pay AND a new house currently under construction. What fun trying to sort all of this out! In many ways I am at rock bottom. In many ways I believe that everthing happens for a reason and I definitely have a lot of experience under my belt with work, school, and life in general. Anyhow, contrary to popular belief, there is absolutely no career stability in technology or computers and very fuew jobs. Trust me! Many people think this is not true, but I know what I'm talking about in this area. Any how, I have looked at several nursing options and its really not do-able for me to take pre-reqs right now for 2 years and then be on a waiting list for RN school. What I am considering is LPN school which starts this August 2005. I can be finished in 9 months going full time, fully accredited school. Because I am considered a "dislocated worker" for being laid off, I can get government asst from the county I live in to pay for about 80% of the program and pay my day care expense while going. My goal would be to take acouple of pre-reqs toward an RN or BSN at the same time. The way I look at it, I can be in a position to find steady work in about 9 mnths when the school is over. From here I can work some odd hr shifts maybe and keep my girl home from day care ($700 a mnth). All the while, I can contiue on toward a BSN or RN program from somewhere that may allow me to take classes on line or through distance learning and have my employer assist with expenses toward this goal. I already have a M.S. so I wuld like to contiue on and get a BSN. I just feel based on my circumstance, I might be better getting an LPN first and htiing the gound running. What do you all think?????? Any input is much appreciated. Also, yes I have researched nursing quite a bit (my sisters are nurses). I know the good, bad, and ugly about it. Whenever I hear them having a bad day, I remind them that they are gainfully employed and could get a job about anywhere they want. I remind them that my wife and I lost 60% of our income over night, have a child to feed, a house under construction, and just spent $15 grand on a masters degree. This was "cash". I sure wish I had that money now! Anyhow, sorry for the LLLOOONNNGGG question.
    From the time I could speak, when people asked me what I wanted to be I said "A nurse and a mommy." I wasn't blessed with kids and it took me 44 years to begin nursing school. The only reason I began it then was that, like you, I was at a crossroads and had to make some major life-altering decisions. I had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel just as I met someone who had finished nursing school and taught me that if you want to be a nurse you can find a way. So I did. You don't go into nursing for the money. I've never been happier.
  12. by   SophieMae
    I too, am looking at the LPN program but for different reasons. I just told the hubby yesterday that I was going back to school. He is not impressed. So to keep peace around here I will begin at this level. But our program is an RN setup, but you may choose to drop at the end of the first year.....thus be an LPN. I dont want as many sleepless nights as it takes for the RN program especially right now, but things could change. The drawback is, LPN's are only allowed nursing home jobs or home care. Hospitals in this area do not use them and have even grouped them with CNA's as far as duties/pay scale, which I think unfair.
    So check out your area, you may find yourself unemployed even in this field or your time and effort into your LPN could get you titled as a glorified CNA. I do know that Texas and California cant get enough LPN's. Hope your future is brighter.
  13. by   Compassionate_Nurse
    I have been an lpn for 4 years and am finishing up my rn. I will tell you that the rn is so much easier already having my lpn and with your masters you will be at a great advantage for getting your msn later. also i know you want to go into nursing but i also read you need money now, have you considered working in IS in the hospitals. You know all those hospitals have to go to the computed medication administration records soon. worth a try?

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