Just a few questions about nursing!!

  1. Hello all,

    I am confused about some things. I have been reading many posts for a long time now and i have been seeing different things that i do not understand. Ok well first of all i am wanting to become a nurse but im not sure what kind or what kind of school i need to go to. Say for instance do i need to go to just a college or just nursing school or both? Sorry if i confuse anyone while i say all this but i am confused myself. Another is , i know what a RN is and what a LPN is but what is a CNA or a BSN and so on.....
    OK and what kind of school do i need to go to to become any of these things. Another question is on deciding what kind of nurse to be. Does anyone know of any websites that just give a brief explination of all the different kinds of nurses and what each of them would be doing if they chose that one. If anyone is not yet confused by what i have typed then i could really use the help!!! Thank you very much!!!! Hopefully i can get all my questions answered cause that would help me a great deal!!!!!!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   louloubell1
    Hi Ashley. Glad you're interested in nursing as a profession. Let me see if I can help you sort through the confusion a little.

    First, some of the initials you mentioned: LPN or LVN = licensed practical nurse or licensed practical nurse. RN = registered nurse. CNA = certified nurse aide. BSN = bachelor of science in nursing.
    ADN = associates degree in nursing.

    The amount of school you go to depends on the type of nurse you're wanting to be (LPN or RN). I'm not sure how long LPNs train, I believe it's about a year. RNs may go a few different routes. There are diploma programs (again, unsure of the length of time, but I'm sure someone here knows), associates degree programs which boil down to being 2.5 - 3 years, and bachelor degree programs which take at least 4 years all told. CNAs go to programs that are often about 6 weeks of training I believe. There are so many, many areas of nursing in which a person can work that it would just be impossible for me to even begin to explain them all. Take a look around on the other forums on this site and you can get some insight into specialty areas for nursing. Good luck to you, and I hope that I've helped you just a little bit.

    Lou
    Convicted of placenta previa & serving time on couch arrest ~ Day 25
  4. by   deespoohbear
    Lou had great answers for your questions. I think diploma programs for RN's are about 3 years in length. Not many diploma programs left though. Just seems that all the colleges have either gone to ASN or BSN (or both levels). If you are just getting out of high school and don't necessarily need to enter the work force right away, I would suggest you go for your BSN. It will open more opportunities for you once you have your nursing license. In a couple of states, BSN is the entry level for bedside nursing. I have an ASN degree that took me 2.5 years to complete. I would have liked to go on for the BSN, but I needed to get into the workforce as soon as I was done passing the boards. One thing to consider though is usually an RN with a ASN degree and an RN with a BSN degree working on the same unit with the same amount of experience will probably get the same pay. I know several of the BSN nurses I work with are actually making a little less than me because I have been there longer. I know of one resource that you can look at is the something called the Student's Occupational Handbook. It will tell you what the outlook is for tons of jobs, pay, education needed...etc...I think you can access it online, or your school library would probably have a copy....

    Best wishes...

    :kiss
  5. by   MOMMY
    Speaking as a person who has been all of the above. Either way you go you are still a nurse. CNAs do the grunt work of nursing, cleaning patients up, changing linen, getting patient back and forth to the bathroom, feeding patients and such. LPNs practice the art of nursing they too may do the same type of work as a CNA, yet they pass medications and essentially do the same as a RN (when their state board allows). If you graduate as a ADN or BSN RN, Look for an long time LPN to show you how to perform those things like steril dressing changes, putting NG tubes in or putting foley catheters in. You may hear that LPNs are task orientated, no true many choose that route so they get to do nursing duties yet not have too much responsibility. My self, I chose that route because I got tired of the pre-reqs. (I was young and didn't know any better.) Associate Degree nurses have to have many of the same pre-reqs , just not as many nusing hour requirements many ADN programs make it a requirement to be a LPN first before you can get into the program. BSN programs are just like any other 4 year program for any other field of study. The problem, not enought clinical hours. Do not worry, you will get the experience once you graduate if you are willing to say, I have not done that before, do not do it for me, just tell me how and/or talk me through it. The big issue is that as far as pay goes ADN and BSN nurses make the same amount if you are working a floor, many areas of nursing that require supervisors requires a BSN to be supervisor or administrator. Which ever you choose, good luck, You are well on your way to being a good nurse because you are asking questions.

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