What route did you take to become an RN and why?

  1. HI all!!

    I see this topic discusses a lot over the boards and I, myself just struggled with this decision!! I know alot of other students/current nurses are as well...so I thought that we could start a thread telling, who we are, what degree we are pursing and why we chose that specific degree, ie was it faster but cost more money? etc...oh and if you could throw in where you were from that would be awesome too. The main focus of this thread, that makes it different from others is for us to explain our reasons for choosing, LPN, ADN, BSN, MN, MSN, etc..i will go first....

    Im Erica, i'm from Cincinnati, Ohio and I am pursing an masters degree in nursing (MN not MSN) I wont be able to be a nurse practioner as you would with an MSN. I chose this route bc all the ADN programs in my area had 18-24 month waiting lists for clinicals! I already have a bachelors degree in a non related field so I chose the MN program, the program is 15 months long so that made me happy! I also looked into BSN programs here for a second bachelors, but they were all done admitting for the year so id have to wait till next year when they admitted again (I grad. June 2004, and decided to become a nurse Nov 2004, moved back to Cincy in OCT 04). My program will cost me more money in the long run it got me out quicker and I got to start this month rather than next year, that was most important to me..I just want to be a nurse .
    Last edit by galaxy781 on Apr 24, '05
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   galaxy781
    oh by the way, I am curious to find out, has anyone taken the online RN programs?? how does that work and are you glad that you did?? Just wondering, don't know anyone who has went that route~ :hatparty:
  4. by   Kelly_the_Great
    :wink2: Hello! I'm an LVN in Texas.

    I got my certification 11 years ago when competition wasn't near as stiff as it is now, thus I had no basics, etc. Just did the one year training and got my license. I always wanted to help people but never wanted to go into nursing because with my mother being a nurse I knew how stressing the job could be and often how little support nurses had to do their job from adminstration, etc. However, I decided to enter nursing because I was in an abusive marriage, needed to get out and needed to be able to support myself quick.

    I have a good work ethic and as I stated earlier have always wanted to help people and consequently wound up really enjoying nursing. Unfortunately, as so often is the case once you get your LVN/LPN, I made too much money to qualify for financial aid of any sort and had a child and needed to work full-time. Thus, this made any hopes of returning to school (anytime soon) pretty dim.

    I don't know how it is for you guys and the different areas you're located in but competition is becoming so fierce to get into ADN programs that having your LVN is almost becoming a prerequiste in many cases. The applicants are told, "get your LVN first then you'll have a greater chance of getting in because you can go through the transition program." I think this is somewhat poor advice because as I stated earlier once you've got your license you make too much to qualify for financial aid and often your bills wind up corresponding with your pay, you know? Where you have to work full-time.

    Sadly, about 4 years ago my Mom and little sis were killed in a car wreck and due to my Father's generosity and insurance money, I had the opportunity to return to school. I mean, I decided to return to school to improve my life, that of my daughter's and to, you know, in some way honor my mother and sister as well.

    I decided to go with the BSN program because it is 4 years. Now, alot of people would think, "why go the longer route?" My thinking was, number 1: I think it might offer me more opportunities (ecspecially since I'm getting older) and number 2: Why go to school 3 years to get a 2 year degree (ADN) instead of 4 to get a 4 (BSN).

    I think ADNs aren't given the credit they deserve for all the hard work they do, not only in their jobs but also during their academic studies. I mean we take the same state boards for heaven's sake and (again I don't know how it is where ya'll are) it takes them almost as long to get their degree as it does ours. It's certainly not a 2 year difference, more like 1 year here.

    Anyway, that's my story. I'm eager to hear everyone else's....
    Last edit by Kelly_the_Great on Apr 24, '05
  5. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from galaxy781
    HI all!!

    Im Erica, i'm from Cincinnati, Ohio and I am pursing an masters degree in nursing (MN not MSN) I wont be able to be a nurse practioner as you would with an MSN. I chose this route bc all the ADN programs in my area had 18-24 month waiting lists for clinicals! I already have a bachelors degree in a non related field so I chose the MN program, the program is 15 months long so that made me happy! I also looked into BSN programs here for a second bachelors, but they were all done admitting for the year so id have to wait till next year when they admitted again (I grad. June 2004, and decided to become a nurse Nov 2004, moved back to Cincy in OCT 04). My program will cost me more money in the long run it got me out quicker and I got to start this month rather than next year, that was most important to me..I just want to be a nurse .
    Please educate me on this degree you are planning to get. You will have a Master's degree in nursing, without a BSN or ADN? And in only 15 months?? And why is it a MN and not a NSM (what is the difference)???
  6. by   Tweety
    I was working at Pizza Hut when I went to nursing school. There was one nursing school in town and it was an ADN RN pgoram that was NLN approved. I got a fantastic education and passed NCLEX on the first try. It was a cheap community college and the only option for me at the time.

    15 years laters I've begun an online RN to BSN program, that isn't cheap, but it's the best for my lifestyle today. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the BSN, hopefully it will give me some options as I age, as I'm 45 now and have been running up and down med-surg floors and don't know how long I can keep that up.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    There exist direct-entry programs to nursing and those who hold prior baccalaureate degrees may pursue these routes, getting their BSN or MSN/MN directly and in somewhat less time than the generic RN student. Hope this helps, Bonemarrow.
  8. by   medicrnohio
    I chose to get my ADN through Excelsior College (distance learning). I was working 24 hour rotating shifts as a paramedic and couldn't afford to take time off of work to go to nursing school.
  9. by   LPN1974
    I am an LPN, went to school in 1973, graduated in Jan 74, from a Vocational Technical School in Hot springs, AR.
    I was 20 when I went, my mother is the one who wanted me to go.
    My husband and I had been married 3 years, and he liked to move around alot. So my mother wanted me to try to get an education where I could always find a job.
    I'm so glad I did. It was hard to pin hubby down for a year, but I managed to finish.
    We have since divorced, and I am so glad to have this LPN, no telling what I'd be doing if I hadn't went. I see so many older women who have to work for minium wage at back breaking work, and I think but by the Grace of God, that could be me.
    It hasn't always been EASY being an LPN, but it COULD have been much worse.

    MY schooling in 1973 cost exactly $350.00. That included tuition, books, and uniforms.

    Now, I am 3 years away from a full retirement, and I am considering going back for RN.
    I haven't made up my mind if I WILL go, or if I do, what route I will take. I know I can't work and go to school full time. It will either have to be something like Excelsior or wait until I am retired and go fulltime. I was thinking about checking into the Baptist
    School of Nursing at Little Rock, AR. They have an LPN to RN in one year.
  10. by   galaxy781
    Hi all!

    thanks for responding to my thread!! To answer the question about my degree, like smilingblueyes said, I am in a direct entry program for students who have bachelors in other fields besides nursing. It is 15 months from start to finish, but we have no breaks, so we complete our degree in 5 semesters, its accelerated but very time consuming!! We have class/cliniclas everyday of the week for atleast 8 hours a day and I will be going to school full time for 15 months with only a few weeks off here and there for holidays...My degree will make me eligible to sit for the NCLEX and become an RN. Sometime down the road after much experience I will be able to apply for management positions and eventually maybe teaching. My degree however does not prepare me to be a nurse practioner. I chose this route bc in Cincinnati, at the schools I applied to I was having a hard time getting fin aid for a second bachelors degree (they tell me bc I already have a BA that I am not eligible for any state funded aid, grants or scholarships), excpet loans, but I already have too many of those!! THe MN program was the best fit for me becuase it was the only program in my area that was admitting right away. All the BSN programs here I checked into had already picked their class for this fall and werent admitting another class until fall of 06)I acutally went in to apply for next May and while I was in my admissions interview the director asked me if I could change my classes at Cincinnati State to evening classes, I was confused and asked her why, (I never dreamed they would accept me so soon!) and she said that i'd be starting in a few weeks...it all went pretty fast...but my program allows me to start my nursing classes right away and finish in 15 months. I already have all the prereqs from my previous bachelors degree so that helps alot.

    I dont know if my degree will pay me anymore as a floor nurse than say a BSN or ADN, if there is a difference it prob. isnt much but in the future it may open up other doors for me. Like I said earlier, I just wanted to be a nurse and was enrolled in an ADN in the beginning. After I found out that I would be put on the waiting list at the end of this month for clincials in my ADN program I was so happy BUT..then they told me the average wait to even get into clinicals was 18 months !! That put me just starting my clinicals next fall sometime, I didnt want to wait that long so I checked into some other programs, I found one and so far its worked out really well, i'm glad I dont have to worry about that waitlist now!! whew!!


    OH and maybe this is a stupid question but what exactly does LVN stand for, is there any difference between and LVN and LPN? Oh and I agree, nursing schools are getting sooo competitive!!! But then again so is the job market, its crazy, I grad. last year with a BA in Psych and SOc and I looked and looked for a job and no one would hire me and the ones who did wanted to pay me less than what I made when I was in HS!! I applied at the American REd Cross to be a case mangaer and the starting pay was 7/hr with no benefits. I couldnt do it! Its so much harder these days bc sooo many more people go to college and getting degrees...sigh...good luck all!
    Last edit by galaxy781 on Apr 24, '05
  11. by   galaxy781
    Quote from LPN1974
    I am an LPN, went to school in 1973, graduated in Jan 74, from a Vocational Technical School in Hot springs, AR.
    I was 20 when I went, my mother is the one who wanted me to go.
    My husband and I had been married 3 years, and he liked to move around alot. So my mother wanted me to try to get an education where I could always find a job.
    I'm so glad I did. It was hard to pin hubby down for a year, but I managed to finish.
    We have since divorced, and I am so glad to have this LPN, no telling what I'd be doing if I hadn't went. I see so many older women who have to work for minium wage at back breaking work, and I think but by the Grace of God, that could be me.
    It hasn't always been EASY being an LPN, but it COULD have been much worse.

    MY schooling in 1973 cost exactly $350.00. That included tuition, books, and uniforms.

    Now, I am 3 years away from a full retirement, and I am considering going back for RN.
    I haven't made up my mind if I WILL go, or if I do, what route I will take. I know I can't work and go to school full time. It will either have to be something like Excelsior or wait until I am retired and go fulltime. I was thinking about checking into the Baptist
    School of Nursing at Little Rock, AR. They have an LPN to RN in one year.

    Wow 350$!! you are so lucky!! Im lucky if I can get my books for 350!!
  12. by   galaxy781
    Quote from Tweety
    I was working at Pizza Hut when I went to nursing school. There was one nursing school in town and it was an ADN RN pgoram that was NLN approved. I got a fantastic education and passed NCLEX on the first try. It was a cheap community college and the only option for me at the time.

    15 years laters I've begun an online RN to BSN program, that isn't cheap, but it's the best for my lifestyle today. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the BSN, hopefully it will give me some options as I age, as I'm 45 now and have been running up and down med-surg floors and don't know how long I can keep that up.
    TWEETY,

    Do you ever think about teaching?? I know a few nurses at my college teach an CNA course for extra money while still being a floor nurse ,and they love it! I think I may like to do something like that farther down the road.
  13. by   galaxy781
    Quote from Kelly_the_Great
    :wink2: Hello! I'm an LVN in Texas.

    I got my certification 11 years ago when competition wasn't near as stiff as it is now, thus I had no basics, etc. Just did the one year training and got my license. I always wanted to help people but never wanted to go into nursing because with my mother being a nurse I knew how stressing the job could be and often how little support nurses had to do their job from adminstration, etc. However, I decided to enter nursing because I was in an abusive marriage, needed to get out and needed to be able to support myself quick.

    I have a good work ethic and as I stated earlier have always wanted to help people and consequently wound up really enjoying nursing. Unfortunately, as so often is the case once you get your LVN/LPN, I made too much money to qualify for financial aid of any sort and had a child and needed to work full-time. Thus, this made any hopes of returning to school (anytime soon) pretty dim.

    I don't know how it is for you guys and the different areas you're located in but competition is becoming so fierce to get into ADN programs that having your LVN is almost becoming a prerequiste in many cases. The applicants are told, "get your LVN first then you'll have a greater chance of getting in because you can go through the transition program." I think this is somewhat poor advice because as I stated earlier once you've got your license you make too much to qualify for financial aid and often your bills wind up corresponding with your pay, you know? Where you have to work full-time.

    Sadly, about 4 years ago my Mom and little sis were killed in a car wreck and due to my Father's generosity and insurance money, I had the opportunity to return to school. I mean, I decided to return to school to improve my life, that of my daughter's and to, you know, in some way honor my mother and sister as well.

    I decided to go with the BSN program because it is 4 years. Now, alot of people would think, "why go the longer route?" My thinking was, number 1: I think it might offer me more opportunities (ecspecially since I'm getting older) and number 2: Why go to school 3 years to get a 2 year degree (ADN) instead of 4 to get a 4 (BSN).

    I think ADNs aren't given the credit they deserve for all the hard work they do, not only in their jobs but also during their academic studies. I mean we take the same state boards for heaven's sake and (again I don't know how it is where ya'll are) it takes them almost as long to get their degree as it does ours. It's certainly not a 2 year difference, more like 1 year here.

    Anyway, that's my story. I'm eager to hear everyone else's....

    Kelly,

    Im so sorry to hear about your mom and sister, <hugs> I agree with you, I dont think any nurse gets all the credit they deserve!! But yes, financial aid is soo tricky, I never qualified for much as an undergrad bc the government said my mom made "too much money" LOL let me tell you my mom manages a DRs office and we STRUGGLED to make it on her salary, I mean she was raising two teenaged daughters by herself, so even though she really wanted to help me with tuition she couldnt afford it! The gov wouldnt give me any grants or loans bc "my expected family contribution was too high" sigh..it was hard but we figured it out somehow...It frusterates me bc im one of those students who, like you, is stuck somewhere in that gray area....too poor to pay for my education myself but make too much money somehow to qualify for aid...so frustrating!
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    LVN: Licensed Vocational Nurse

    Essentially the same as LPN is. This title is primarily used in the states of Texas and California.

    HTH

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