getting started in w/ nursing career

  1. I am a CNA looking to become a LPN and eventually an RN. I want any info you can give me on different grants, loans, etc that are out there that I may not know about. I would also like to hear your favorite sites to check about regarding nursing and the health care field. Also any advice you would want to share with me on returning to school after 10 years.

    I am a mother of a 3 year old, will be working 40 hrs/wk and going to school full time and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks bunches - JR of PA
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Blue11RN
    Good luck with your dreams!!! I did the same thing that you plan to do. I work as a nurses aide, got my LPN then got my RN. It is alot of hard work but I learned alot! Not sure about grants or loans out there for you. I would suppose the grants would have to depend on your income/dependant status. I would talk to someone at school. They would probably have the best ideas for you in your area. And, good luck with everyone thing!!!
  4. by   Erbn Girl
    Great for you! You must be very determined to work full-time as well as go to school full-time and I commend you! Always try to make time for yourself and family because without those two important things...well.....About the loans-look on www.fastweb.com and take the time to fill in the application online. It will explain everything you need to do to see what type of loans are available. It takes about 20 minutes and will give you a full list of any loans you may be eligible for and who to contact about them! At the last time I looked, the service was free! It will not only give you a listing of possible avenues, but it may trigger some other ideas in your mind on who to contact yourself! Remember that your goals will not come overnight and that at the end of the road will be a great gift...you as a nurse. God bless you and your perserverence!
  5. by   MAPalumbo
    Don't waste you're time getting an LPN, there are few jobs and credits will not be transferable to an RN program. Go to an RN associate program 2yrs.
  6. by   Mijourney
    Hi,

    I concur with the previous emailer who is encouraging you to go to a two year RN program instead of an LPN program. I don't think that there is all that much more cost, time, or effort involved with the two year RN program. Also, you will probably get all your general education requirements out of the way in the event you decide to go for a bachelor's degree or a bridge program to a master's degree. Your general education requirements will be good for any bachelor's degree program, by and large. Not only that, you will experience a greater salary hike once you become a graduate nurse and RN. With ten years of experience as a CNA, and gutsy determination and persistence, I think that you can successfully complete the two year RN program and RN boards without going through LPN school, LPN boards, and challenge tests. God Bless.

  7. by   Nancy1
    Hi Shinyemerald,
    I decided after 6 years of being a CNA that I could be a nurse. I only needed the piece of paper that said I was a nurse.
    I agree that it would be more worthwhile to go for the ADN rather than LPN to RN. The nurses that I have known have lost time in doing it that way.
    I also agree with talking to the financial aid office at your school. They have pretty good connections. There are scholarships from all kinds of nursing organizations, that are specific to locale. There are also opportunities from different facilities. Where I work, an employee can apply for assistance, and have to maintain a certain grade point, but that shouldn't be a problem.
    I was 40 with a part time job, a husband and 3 teenagers. I was busy, but I enjoyed 90% of it.
    Good Luck and God Speed on your chosen path.
    NA
  8. by   monica f
    There have been several post in response to your question. I strongly disagree with some. I went to LPN school and then on to an associates degree. I'm very glad that I went though the LPN program. First off I had more clinical experience in one year than I had in the RN program. This was espically useful in the work place. In RN school most places let you have 1-2 patients tops in LPN school we worked our way up to as many patient as we could handle. For most of us it was 5+. This was really nice once I started working. Secondly, I went to an associates program right after LPN school they took ALL my classes and that left me with only 3 classes that I had left to take. I will say however that if you plan on going the BSN route straight from LPN school, you will have problems getting them to take all of your classes. Once you have your RN it doesn't matter they take all of your classes. For me atleast I just have to take 26 more hours for my BSN. You might check into the LPN and ADN program and then check to see what the BSN program is going to take. If you do complete the LPN program you will atleast be able to work durring RN school and you will gain confidence in your clinical setting. Best of LUCK!
  9. by   shinyemerald
    Thank you very much for the advice. I really appreciate it. You can take 100 people and ask them this question. 50 of them will say forget LPN school and 50 of them will see they wouldn't have done it any other way.

    I am not bashing any RN who wasn't an LPN first, I am just simply stating that this is the best option for me. This is the road I have to take at this stage in my life. I appreciate all the advice from everyone who responded to my bulletin. You all gave good advice.

    THANKS SINCERELY - SHINYEMERALD of PA

    [This message has been edited by shinyemerald (edited March 16, 2000).]
  10. by   MittensLPN
    Originally posted by MAPalumbo:
    Don't waste you're time getting an LPN, there are few jobs and credits will not be transferable to an RN program. Go to an RN associate program 2yrs.
    I strongly disagree with your response that getting your LPN is a waste of time. I started as a CNA, got my LPN and am just getting started on RN. Getting my LPN was like a stepping stone, I also have a family, two children ages 3 and 6, and I worked full time and went to school. Many schools offer articulation (or ladder) programs, so yes, your LPN credits count. And as for jobs, there are countless number of jobs for LPN's, nursing homes, hospitals (in all areas), home care, doctors offices, prisions, factories, schools, etc. Where ever your intrests are. I commend the efforts of anyone getting a degree in nursing, wether it be an LPN or RN.

  11. by   km rn
    Back in the 80s, I received a loan from my state Board of Nursing - it was a 1000 loan at a very low interest rate. Better yet, the loan would be forgiven if I worked within my state. Unfortunately, there were no full time nursing jobs in my area in 1984 so I moved to Texas. Between school loans, and car payments , I needed guarnteed (?sp) 80 hours. However, they gave me creadit for the nursing hours I worked in my state prior to my move.

    So....I say contact your state board of nursing, also check with your place of employment. I am working at a nursing home - we have a tuition help program. In addition, our state's long term care association awards scholarship moneys towards nursing education. In addition, several national organizations provide scholarship or low interest loan money if you are interested in working in long term care.

    I would carefully look at which credits would transfer into a RN program and make my decision based on that.

    Good Luck!

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