LPN to RN through testing? - page 4

I just feel that I'm going to get a lot of flak on this, but here goes...Since there's such a nursing shortage, why not let LPN's take the RN test with some parameters? I just thought of a few: 5... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    I work with a couple of LPNs out of the few that I work with that I would love to see take NCLEX and become RNs simply because they are so awesome and I feel they are being taken advantage because I make probably $10.00 more per hour than they do. They are excellent care providers, good in an emergency, great with doctors, great teachers, etc. It just doesn't seem right that they are used in that capacity. with that kind of responsibility and not be compensated.

    However, in a field we're RNs are in disagreement about the minimium level of education already, I don't think it's a good idea to have LPNs test out and become RNs.

    So while your proposals have some merit, I would be against it. I'll leave it at that because, just as it's difficult to say that "BSN should be the standard for entering into an RN field" without making ADN nurses feel insulted (I'm not saying I agree with that statement), it's going to be even more difficult to say that LPNs shouldn't test out and become RNs without upsetting some, so I won't. Thanks.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 30, '06
  2. by   loriannlpn
    I am currently a LPN who has one semester to go for ADN. I went through a traditional PN program, very strict, very hard. Very hard... I would have to say because I went from very little "nursing" knowledge to gaining allot of knowledge, that my PN program was very difficult and was a great accomplishment for me.
    Now that I have gone through the ADN prpgram I feel that I have build upon my knowledge. RN programs teach you manager type skills, better teaching plans, care plans and professionalism. Not as hard, but, time consuming.
    Please dont hang me out to dry for this one, but in my experience, I feel more confident in the ADN. I feel more prepared. Maybe it is because I have learned the hard stuff and I am building upon my knowledge
  3. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from mc3
    caroladybelle,
    Thanks for your input, but I don't honestly feel I deserved the sarcasm. I'm only asking about LPN's taking the test, that's all. Yes, you can extrapolate to all levels, but that wasn't my question. And, as far as the nursing shortage goes, I agree, there's a shortage of nurses because no one wants to do the job....More nurses = more help = less stress.
    And, no, I am not trying start an RN vs LPN thing.
    Just trying to think of a somewhat simple solution that, bottom line, will affect all of us in the very near future.
    There was no sarcasm - it was an honest answer.

    An NP or a paramedic initiates many interventions that are common to MDs. They do many of the same practical tasks, and may often do them better than MDs. They may have as much or more clinical experience w/this tasks and issues at some point.

    But that does not make them the equivalent of an MD. What is the primary difference? How they are educated (as I previously mentioned)

    One can teach laymen how to insert and IV - it is no great feat. For that matter, many RN programs are not permitted to let students insert them. Experience is wonderful and necessary. But neither is the be-all or end all of nursing. These things do not an RN in make...just as much as being able to intubate or write an antibiotic script, with enough experience does not an MD make. Nor does it entitle NPs or paramedics to challenge an MD board.

    And neither is having an abundance of foreign MDs considered an adequate reason to change this rule.

    I regret that you do not care for my answer. But when you put a question out there, you have to expect some reasoned disagreement. You asked for reasons against this plan - the reasons are simple. LPNs are not educated on the same track as RNs. And if you wish to be on the RN track, take those courses. Much like NPs that think that they are the same as MDs after they get experience - if they want to be MDs, they need to go to medical school. There is ( at a good school) a substantial difference.

    And a fictional shortage is not a good reason to override this.
  4. by   dindog
    caroladybelle - a fictional shortage (of nurses, i suppose)? do you mean the shortage is not real?
  5. by   smk1
    Quote from dindog
    caroladybelle - a fictional shortage (of nurses, i suppose)? do you mean the shortage is not real?
    There are thousands of nurses that are licensed yet not practicing. Many of the reasons are patient loads, inadequate pay for the responsibility etc... If these non-practicing nurses were enticed back into the field the nursing shortage would be far less.
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from dindog
    caroladybelle - a fictional shortage (of nurses, i suppose)? do you mean the shortage is not real?
    If you review this BB in any depth, that the shortage is fiction is obvious.

    Current stats have demonstrated that there are 500,000 licensed nurses in the USA that are not working in nursing. There are 120,000 to 180,000 open positions for nurses, depending on who you speak to. Even if you eliminate retired (due to desire/age) licensed nurses (which generally have let license lapse or inactive), there are still more than enough nurses to cover the "shortage" in the USA.

    California had one of the more notorious shortage. A large number of the hospitals are forprofits, where ratios were abysmal and conditions unsafe. Even travelers did not want go there even with higher payrates. Since the advent of ratios, the shortage has reversed out, and pay rates for travelers have come down since it is now a more desirable assignsment.

    Thus American nurses will return to work and work for less, when conditions are improved. Unfortunately few hospitals will voluntarily improve conditions.

    In UK, there are large numbers of native borne trained nurses that cannot find a job in nursing. This is also well documented on this BB.

    In Canada (where a BSN is required), it is difficulty to for a nurse to find a fulltime job. Some resort to taking several casual (part time) positions, with few to no benefits, to cover hours. The facilities will hire two part timers in place of a full timer to save on benefits. This is also documented on this BB

    In the Philippines, few new grad nurses can find a paying nursing position. Again, documented on this BB.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I would say that makes the shortage a bit of fiction.
  7. by   augigi
    More to the point, what LPN would WANT to take on the additional responsibility of RN work without the requisite education? I can't imagine that I would. I agree that with 5 years of LPN experience, they'd be better off doing a LPN-RN program and learning the additional info.
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from caroladybelle
    California had one of the more notorious shortage. A large number of the hospitals are forprofits, where ratios were abysmal and conditions unsafe. Even travelers did not want go there even with higher payrates. Since the advent of ratios, the shortage has reversed out, and pay rates for travelers have come down since it is now a more desirable assignsment.

    Thus American nurses will return to work and work for less, when conditions are improved. Unfortunately few hospitals will voluntarily improve conditions.
    The California ratio law has done a lot to improve the shortage but, I wouldn't say that it's totally solved the problem. There are hospitals that are still short but, they also tend to be the hospitals that pay less and have less benefits.

    Some hospitals are still remarkably stubborn when it comes to pay. Even if the cost of living increases dramatically in an area some still refuse to raise their wages. Or, if they do, then they phase out things like pension benefits to make up for it.

    In cases where nursing pay and benefits are really good ... the shortages tend to drop dramatically at those facilities.

    So I wouldn't say that nurses are totally willing to work for less money just because of better working conditions. Money is still a big factor, especially because of the high cost of living in Cali.

    Also ... by 2008, ratios are going to drop even further from 5 to 4 patients on Med Surg, just as an example, so ... that can potentially worsen the shortage.

    There's no question that ratios and better working conditions have helped tremendously but, pay and benefits are still a huge driving factor with nursing shortages in Cali.

    When they do pay well ... the shortages are minimal. If they don't pay well ... then the shortages are severe.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Nov 3, '06
  9. by   drgraden
    Excelsior College's program is essentially a "test out". However, as most know, it is so difficult to self-study and tutorial publishers abound looking for a quick buck while not really vested in your success. Also, the pass rate is pretty low.

    The good news is that that some communities offer group tutoring. Our local facility in Nashville, Accelerated Learning Center, boasts a 92% pass rate and offers help with both the clinical and NCLEX.

    You might want to see if a tutoring center is available in your local area.
  10. by   mkcrturner
    What ever happened to good old apprenticeship?? You work side by side with a master of the occupation in order to learn, they you begin doing the work.

    Points from both sides are well noted. I agree that some classes are just a plain waste of time. Some of the classes to get the associates degree are ridiculous... English comp 1 & 2?? WHY? That is 2 semesters of something that should be able to test out of, or do a review type class to be sure I know how to write a paper. (despite my poor grammar while posting in the world wide web, i did take both and pass with a 4.0- really- LOL)

    I personally feel that my time would have been better spent in a hospital learing real NURSING skills and applications. The college received a lot of money for classes that just do not relate. As long as I am able to communicate in a functioning way, it should not matter that I am able to understand Othello or not.

    JMHO
  11. by   RN34TX
    Quote from mkcrturner
    Some of the classes to get the associates degree are ridiculous... English comp 1 & 2?? WHY? That is 2 semesters of something that should be able to test out of......
    But you can test out of courses like that at the vast majority of colleges in the U.S.
    CLEP offers several different versions of English exams that are worth 6 semester credits (One exam to gain credit for both Comp I and II).
    Some of the versions are with or without essay, etc. but chances are that whatever school you are going to would grant challenge exam credit for passing at least one of their English exams because CLEP exams are accepted almost everywhere for credit. Some schools limit the number of courses that can be tested out of, but it's usually a liberal amount of credit hours.

    There is no need to sit through Comp I and II classes if you already have the needed knowledge and writing skills.
  12. by   RN34TX
    Quote from drgraden
    Excelsior College's program is essentially a "test out". However, as most know, it is so difficult to self-study and tutorial publishers abound looking for a quick buck while not really vested in your success. Also, the pass rate is pretty low.
    I was thinking the same thing when reading the OP but didn't want to be the one to open that can of worms. The Op was basically describing some major concepts/components of EC's RN program.

    Interestingly enough, the OP presented more stringent requirements than what EC currently has in place for admission to such a program.

    In addition, the program has become so controversial lately (partly due to the above reason) with regard to state board acceptance that I hardly would call it a good example for the OP's idea.

    But I am torn because I can't completely agree or disagree with the OP or Caroladybelle.

    Caroladybelle is right in that becoming clinically proficient to either meet or exceed one who has licensure above your current level does not justify granting you such licensure on clinical proficiency alone without the education.

    However, working in two teaching hospitals with many nursing students at all levels coming and going over the years.......

    It really makes me cringe to see LPN/LVN to RN students getting clinicals on med/surg units spending their time showing their instructor that they know how to draw up insulin correctly or some other skill very basic to most any LPN/LVN when that time could be better spent in an area less familiar to the LPN to RN student and they could really learn something new from a clinical standpoint.

    Most of the things that LPN/LVN's aren't allowed to do in practice are things that they never let the RN students do in the first place like IV push meds and hanging blood.

    So why even have these LPN/LVN to RN students doing clinicals on these types of floors in the first place? What exactly is the purpose here?
    Making beds? Giving PO meds? Drawing up insulin? Exactly.

    I believe that a hybrid of some kind between the two approaches to nursing education could work well someday if done the right way.

    Allowing students with demonstrated competency to excel and keep moving forward in their educations without repetition of previously mastered material and skills while providing the same basics as the generic RN students to those LPN/LVN to RN students who need remediation due to lack of hospital experience, received weaker LPN/LVN educations, or other reasons, would be the ideal and can work someday, IMHO.
  13. by   sarajasmine
    I went through an LPN program in FL-1 yr in length and rec'd A.S. Cert. I worked as an LPN for 2 yrs and went back through Regents College-Now Excelsior College. I took some courses through community college, some through CLEP and the Nursing exams through Regents. It was a shorter and convenient way to get my RN. The A.S RN program requires a general education component, as well as the nursing exams and a clinical exam. They are now offered throughout the country. As I remember, the LPN course only included basic biology/A&P. There were also no leadership or management courses involved because that is not the traditional role as an LPN. The RN testing includes this. If you have taken any health management courses, perhaps they could wave that?! I have also worked with many LPN's, in my last 22 yrs as an RN who are excellent but, family commitments or financial restraints hinder them from returning to school for their RN. They should have some special grants set aside for LPN's/LVN's to complete their RN so that the Nurse doesn't have to be concerned about paying bills while completing the degree. Alot of the nursing journals have a variety of online programs designed for LPN's. Good luck!

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