LPN after two semesters of RN school. Will I be ready?

  1. In Florida, one can sit for the LPN boards following completion of second semester of RN school. I will have covered two semesters of med/surg, some OB and some Peds by the end of the year. However, I'm concerned about readiness. As an LPN, I'll be responsible for everything the RN does except, I believe, hang blood. I haven't even inserted a foley into a real live person yet.

    There are only a couple of people at my facility who have been offered the LPN orientation following second semester. I'm told I may be next which makes me feel honored. I'm afraid I will be putting too much pressure on myself at a time when I should be concentrating on school if I do it then. Another choice would be to wait till I complete third semester. I'll have a whole summer to take the boards and concentrate on orientation. OR, I can just work as a PCT till I graduate which is a mere 6 months up the road. I'll have to put out money for all of these state exams. Would it pay?

    Have you had opportunity to precept or observe a second semester RN student/new LPN?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   meownsmile
    I agree. The pressure of orientation at a new job, plus continuing your schooling makes no sense to me. As far as i see, and ive given this opinion before here. The wages you might earn as a LPN is a small benefit. The pressure of the new job, and still having to make the grade in classes just isnt worth it unless you are at a point where you NEED to work. There is also the cost of sitting for the LPN boards and obtaining the license. You still have to pay that expense even though you will be paying for it again in 2 years. It's just not worth the hassle,IMHO, unless there is reason to think you wont finish the RN program,work in student pool or something, you will get almost the same experience, without the responsibility and the cost.
  4. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from RNKittyKat
    In Florida, one can sit for the LPN boards following completion of second semester of RN school. I will have covered two semesters of med/surg, some OB and some Peds by the end of the year. However, I'm concerned about readiness. As an LPN, I'll be responsible for everything the RN does except, I believe, hang blood. I haven't even inserted a foley into a real live person yet.

    There are only a couple of people at my facility who have been offered the LPN orientation following second semester. I'm told I may be next which makes me feel honored. I'm afraid I will be putting too much pressure on myself at a time when I should be concentrating on school if I do it then. Another choice would be to wait till I complete third semester. I'll have a whole summer to take the boards and concentrate on orientation. OR, I can just work as a PCT till I graduate which is a mere 6 months up the road. I'll have to put out money for all of these state exams. Would it pay?

    Have you had opportunity to precept or observe a second semester RN student/new LPN?
    Please people, I am not trying to start an RN vs LPN thing here. Just listen with an open mind, please.
    Many BON assume a partially prepared RN can work competantly as an LPN. And a partially prepared RN can probably pass the NCLEX-PN, by the skin of their teeth! The education is different, not just longer for RN.
    If someone goes part way through RN school and for whatever reason can't finish s/he could probably go on to be an LPN. The time and energy would be available to devote to developiing the nursing skills you didn't get in school. However, you will still be going to school and should not try to learn two things at a time. Granted, they are both nursing and the learning will be very much alike. But! not in the same order. Know what I mean? School is hard enough without expecting yourself to learn a new job and continue you education and have a life!
    If money is VERY needed and you can't make it on the tech salary, you may have to do it, but if you can get by in the pt tech salary don't push yourself more than you have to.
  5. by   suzanne4
    Unless there is a significant difference where you are between the salaries, it doens't make sense to do it. You will be paying for exams six month later.....
  6. by   Tweety
    It is a lot of pressure and a road not many seem to take I've noticed. How many hours a week do you have to work to pay the bills. If you're working only part-time the increase in pay may not be that much in a two week paycheck.

    Then again, it's a good way to get a head start on things in prep for being a RN down the road.

    Good luck in whatever you do.
  7. by   ksrnstudent
    I decided to take LPN boards after my second semester of nursing school. It wasn't because I needed the money or needed a job; I did it for the experience of taking boards so I would be more prepared in May 2005 when I graduate. I have to admit it was the best decision I have made! I'm certainly glad I did it. I now have a PRN position at the VA as an LPN. Now in my area of the country nurse techs are paid better than aids and LPNs. As an LPN at the VA, I will make the same as a nurse tech without a license. If you are feeling overwhelmed and money is not an issue, then don't take baords. Like I said, I only did it for the experience. Good luck!
  8. by   RN4NICU
    Off-topic, but I'm a little confused...

    2 semesters of RN program qualifies to sit for LPN exam. Ok...I'm still with you there...don't agree with it, wouldn't do it, but I've heard of this before.
    Only one more semester of RN program (3 semesters total)?? For real?? Is that the norm there?

    Seems too short to me. I've never seen a program less than 4 semesters, have even seem some that are 5 (after prerequisites for both).
  9. by   wonderbee
    The difference in pay is about $4 an hour. It's significant enough. Instead of having to work every weekend, I could work every other weekend. That would free me up for more study time. Finances is the only reason I would do this.

    Third Shift Guy brings up a good point, not too many take that road. I believe, as another poster pointed out, it's because most facilities don't want a half-way RN to function as an LPN. An LPN that has completed school is prepared for the job. Even my facility frowns on the general practice of hiring student RNs as LPNs. The patients deserve better.

    Thanks guys You all confirmed my feelings on the subject. I don't want to go the LPN route unless I have to. This is out of respect to LPNs who have studied for their craft, to patients who deserve a competent practitioner and to myself who doesn't need to have a nervous breakdown before graduation.
  10. by   wonderbee
    Quote from RN4NICU
    Off-topic, but I'm a little confused...

    2 semesters of RN program qualifies to sit for LPN exam. Ok...I'm still with you there...don't agree with it, wouldn't do it, but I've heard of this before.
    Only one more semester of RN program (3 semesters total)?? For real?? Is that the norm there?

    Seems too short to me. I've never seen a program less than 4 semesters, have even seem some that are 5 (after prerequisites for both).
    No, please forgive me if I've confused the issue. We have a four semester program. I mentioned the third semester because, if I did take the LPN exam, it would be better for me to take it after third semester because I would be out of school for the summer.
  11. by   RN4NICU
    okay, I get it now


    Thanks for clearing that up - I was getting worried for ya. If RN programs had to teach it all in just 3 semesters, they would have to CRAM stuff in your heads so hard and so fast it would ooze out your ears...and adding on trying to work as an LPN to that --- you guys would be spontaneously exploding left and right.

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