Delving into nursing... What do you think of my plan?

  1. Ok, so after years of thinking about it, and weighing my options, I have decided, finally, to return to school for nursing. I studied International Relations while in university, and while I enjoyed it, it's not what I truly want to do.

    Four years ago, my youngest sister became unexpectedly ill. She had developed (out of nowhere) an extremely rare form of anemia called Diamon-Blackfan Anemia. She was 8 years old. So, her life changed drastically. She became transfusion dependent. In the summer of 2005, she received a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor, perfect 10/10 HLA match. That summer, I lived in the hospital with her, and since, I have had a deep desire to pursue something I'm passionate about --- nursing.

    So, that leaves me where I am now. Because I am married, and a bit older (not old, but 27), so I have been thinking of studying to become an LPN. We want to start a family in the next couple/few years, so I'd prefer to be able to get started on something I can feasibly complete, relatively soon.

    There seems to be a pretty good LPN program here, through Delgado Community College & Charity Hospital in New Orleans. I figured, that way, if I want to later become an RN, I will have that option through the myriad LPN to RN programs that I find.

    Does this sound reasonable?

    I have been accepted into the LPN program, and so I would be starting very soon. I haven't had anyone in the field of nursing with whom I can discuss my options, until I found this site. (My family live in Southern California-- that's where my sister had her transplant, and where I know nurses).

    I am really hopeful that this is a solid plan. I would really appreciate your feedback, and I *HOPE* that I've placed this message in the correct Topic/Forum. The vast amount of different topics left my head spinning a bit.

    Thanks in advance!
    Sincerely,
    Nichole
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   IrishIzCPNP
    One thing to make sure you considered...check to see if there is an RN diploma program. Here where I am you can get your LPN in about 1 year and RN in only 2. The LPNs that come into my RN program only get out of taking 2 RN classes and still have to tak A&P 1 and 2, Micro, Nutrition and a few other gen ed classes (which are actually part of the program where I go). I have known some people who get their RN in 1 year because their school doesn't include those gen eds and they go in already having them.

    It's just something to consider.
  4. by   bookboarder
    Wow, I haven't heard of an RN program in two years, that is very impressive. I will have to definitely take a look into that, as well. Thank you!!
  5. by   nurselawre
    At my school in NJ, you take your pre-req classes at the local Community College, and then you have 2 years of clinical rotation for RN diploma. My school also has an accelerated program in which you can get your RN diploma in a year (you need to have a BA/BS in order to enter this program, it sounds like you have have that from your post). Again however for the accelerated program, you must finish your pre-reqs prior to entering, it basically just shortens your clinical rotations by a year. It it more intensive (in school 5 days a week and is fast paced). I would shop around at the different schools in your area to determine the best program for you. We have several LPNs in my RN program. They were able to opt out of the first year of clincals, but have to take the last year to get their RN diploma.

    Best of luck to you.....
  6. by   bookboarder
    Thank you both for that information.

    Unfortunately, monetarily and area-wise, New Orleans is pretty limited. I would go from the Community College option to Loyola University, which my husband and I cant afford at this point.

    I think going forward with the LPN option at this point is best for me, mainly because of the options in the area, and because of the time issue. I looked into the RN program and it's a degree program (I don't know if that is different from a diploma, for certain, but I believe it is). It is a 72 credit hour program, which sounds like it would be at least 2-3 years. The LPN program is 14 months long.

    So, I think that would suit me best at this stage in my life.

    Can you recommend where I should post questions and the like from here on... Like things that will probably more relative to the LPN program?
  7. by   MB37
    I used to live in NO and actually started my BSN program at LSUHSC 2 weeks before Katrina flooded it (that sent DH and I to FL). Charity is an awesome school, and they have one of the best reputations in the region. If you can't see it at Charity Hospital, you won't see it anywhere. I don't know much about their LPN program, but I know several RN graduates. The RN program is2 years, but there are a few prereqs. It confers an associates degree. They used to be Diploma many years ago until Delgado started operating it. If you think LPN is the way to go for now, Delgado has an LPN to RN bridge program as well. Then if you decide to go for your BSN eventually, you can bridge that at LSU. No need to pay for Loyola or Tulane!

    Edited to add: is Charity actually open yet? I haven't been back in a while. Make sure with any school in NO that they have clinical sites, and that you won't be driving to Thibodeaux or something every morning.
    Last edit by MB37 on May 24, '07
  8. by   firstyearstudent
    Go straight for RN!
  9. by   bookboarder
    firstyear~ Why do you say to go straight for RN?
  10. by   IrishIzCPNP
    I can tell you that if I told you to go straight for RN it would be because if you just get it done and over with it's not something to worry about in the future. Think about how hard it would to go to school and have a baby. It might not be at all possible because the hours can be funky and just not doable with needing daycare. It's much different then working!

    You are 27. If it takes 4 years you will be 31. Were you set on having a baby in the next 4 years? If not just do the RN and get it over with.

    I would also look at LPN jobs in the area and make sure there are job openings in places you would want to work. In some areas an LPN does not have many choices because of places wanting to go all RN.

    Oh and the diploma is different then a degree. Degree programs are going to take about 4 years (your basic, don't already have a degree deal). A diploma program with gen eds built in will be about 2 years and with gen eds required before entry you could be looking at 1-1 years depending on where you go.

    An RN with a diploma is an RN. Sure you need a BSN most of the time to advance but again that's not always the case depending on how far you would like to advance...you won't go super far but you could move up some.
  11. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from bookboarder
    firstyear~ Why do you say to go straight for RN?
    There are more employment options, the pay is better, it is not that much more of a committment, it can be difficult to find the time in the future to go back to school.

    A friend of mine who got her LPN about 10 years ago told me she regretted not going straight for RN.

    The only issue can be that it is sometimes hard to get in RN schools. One of our bridge students never even practiced as an LPN. I asked her why she didn't go straight for RN and she told me she didn't want to wait for a slot.

    My personal strategy was to complete reqs for multiple school and apply to every community college within reasonable commuting distance. It paid off.
  12. by   queenjean
    I, too, had a previous degree and career before going back to school for my LPN. That was about 8 years ago. Now I am completing my RN (through a program that is partially on-line).

    This was a good choice for me. I was able to work, pay off some bills, get my husband through a masters program, and now I'm back in school to finish up the RN portion.

    I had to retake A&P (my credit was too old) and I had to take Micro to get in the RN program--but I would have had to take those for any programs, it was just whether I took it then or now, you know?

    In my area, LPNs mainly work in long term care or doctors offices; but my local hospital still hires them. I work there and in a birth center. My LPN to RN program takes a year. So it was no longer than if I would have done my RN right away--it's just that I did one year (the LPN portion) then and one year (the RN portion) now. And my RN program IS a degree program, not a diploma program. It is an associates degree.

    You do what's best for you. I will tell you, though, I looked into geting my BSN after getting my LPN. All the area universities give little or no credit for being an LPN. It wasn't worth it for me to go to the BSN--I would have been repeating alot of course work.

    As soon as I am done with this, I will go on to an online BSN program.

    Good luck!
  13. by   IrishIzCPNP
    Quote from queenjean
    And my RN program IS a degree program, not a diploma program. It is an associates degree.


    There's really not a difference in the 2. It's when you get the BSN that more doors open. For me I had a choice between ADN and diploma and went diploma because of the hospital based aspect more then college based aspect. In the end they are essentially the same thing. I will go into a BSN program with college credits associated with my diploma. Different colleges offer different amounts. The one college that I have been looking at will give me 67 (they give the same for ADN) and I would only need 56 more for my BSN. So there's not really a difference in the 2 on an RN basis. I know there is a preference from some older nurses (not talking ancient though).

    So if a diploma program can be found for the original poster...isn't the starting prong like ADN being an RN...then moving onto the BSN.
  14. by   queenjean
    True, true, SAH; my only questions (and I really don't honestly know) is how many credits from a diploma program will transfer to a BSN program? Is it about equal? There aren't any diploma programs in my area, so I just am not so familiar with them.

    I agree, though, that associates RN or diploma RN still equals RN. However you can get to the RN part, whatever works, is great.

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