Ok everyone.... I'm in a bit of a dilemma and would like some opinions regarding this. I know I have to make my own decisions... but what do you think?
I am in the second semester of an ADN program. One of my friends in the RN program with me is taking what we call the 'LPN summer', which is the course all the PN students take in the summer and then their program is over. Lisa is taking this because she figures it will help her stay current on her skills, get her a 'nursing' job, and she'll be all that much more prepared once she gets licensed as an RN. In our hospital, LPNs do almost everything except for the initial assessment, pushing certain IV meds, and hanging blood. I can see her point. (I also think Lisa is a little worried about failing our third semester because about 35 of the second year students did that last semester)
So I'm thinking about it. It would give me a chance to get my feet wet and get in that hospital environment early. And I'm one of those poor schmucks who has to work at least 32 hours a week to survive, even while in school, so it would give me a chance to do that at a higher rate of pay (I'm currently a secretary). I would have experience at taking boards, would be working as a nurse, would be more confident and comfortable when I graduated, yada yada yada.
Ok, the other side is that I really wanted this summer off. In fact, I am taking the micro lecture and lab this semester so I can have the summer off. And I was planning a trip to Florida. My other concern is that our HR department is a little slow on the uptake, and I'm a bit concerned that I may be locked into a new nurse schedule that would make continuing my education difficult (off shifts, etc). I DEFINITELY do not want to stop at the LPN level, because I want to go on into advanced practice nursing with as little detour as possible.
I can see the merit in both sides of the argument.
I'm totally stuck on this. I don't have a gut feeling. I'm just not sure what I want to do.
Any insight? Anyone thinking about something similar?
TIA (that is thanks in advance, not transient ischemic attack lol)
Jan 27, '02
Sounds like quite a dilema. Sometimes, what helps me make a hard decision, is getting a piece of paper, putting a line down the middle, and list advantages and disadvantages of each option. Include your fears about the decision, and what the best or worst thing is that might happen if you make that particular choice.
BTW, you are so lucky to get the summer off! Our program includes summer session, we'll be doing peds and psych then.
Good luck, I know it will be hard to decide.
Jan 27, '02
It almost sounds as if you've made your decision already. Yes, taking the boards and maybe getting a better paying job sound wonderful- AND you want to continue on. But- you work bloody hard, are probably exhausted, and your stress level is up in the stratisphere. How is your mental and emotional health? Are you getting through without any worries or are you relying on coffee and the promise of a break to get by? Is there any reason why you couldn't take the NCLEX-LN next winter? You have to sort this out, but I definitely believe you will be better off getting a rest if you are feeling stressed.
Jan 27, '02
I've said it before, I'll say it again..... Nursing MUST be returned to hospital based training!!. You know, paid to train, live in the nurses quarters, build bonds & friendships that last a lifetime. Learn on the job as well as in the classroom. Learn from us older, experienced nurses, sharing our knowledge, experiences etc. Learning in the security & safety of a nutured environment with the aforementioned. NO wonder we are losing SO many talented young people! You poor kid, wish I could help you.
Here in Australia, a lot of the young people work as nurse assistants or Enrolled Nurses ( I think that's the LPN equivalent in your country)before becoming R.N's. That way they really get to have a "feel" for the profession & gain experience. My advice to you is this; pray on it, weigh up the pro's & con's of both options available to you & then make a decision based on fact & logic. Stick with that decision & remember; The time of absolute certainty never really arrives. No matter WHAT we decide!...Just make your decision & go for it! GOOD LUCK!...BTW; I've happily been an Enrolled nurse for over 30 years & STILL going strong! Always remember, EVERY tribe NEEDS it's indians! Only a few chiefs are required!!... :-) We're ALL valuable members of the health care team!!...Cheers form Down Under.
Jan 27, '02
we have that in my program as well. i am not taking it, but then i plan on going into the or & only rn's can work as circulators. right now about 3/4 of the class plans on taking it, but the instructors said, that's what was said last year & then only about 10 actually tookk the class. from what i understand it is 4 full days a week. the other thing is, in my personal experience, is that sometimes doing things "real world" does not help when taking the boards. i know even with my limited medical experience, i have had to carefully distingush between "textbbok" and "experience"
good luck in whatever you decide.
Jan 27, '02
Well, what I am doing is getting my LPN license first, this July, then in May of 2003, going back again for another year to get my ASN. That's how our college does it. But I think it's good because I also want to "get my feet wet" so to speak and earn some better money while I'm at it.
It is a personal decision by far, and I do wish you luck either way you go!
Jan 27, '02
I also went though am ADN program. What I did was after my LPN year, I sat for the boards. I worked as an LPN during the summer and on the weekends while I was in my RN year. I feel that the experience that I got during my RN year helped me not only get through and graduate from the program, but also to pass my RN boards.
The decision is all yours. Many people are not able to go to school and work too. I have a husband and 3 children but we all made it work.l
Good luck to you.
Jan 27, '02
I'd like to thank all of you for your responses.
I think I've pretty much decided against the LPN portion of the program... it is full time, 4 days a week, clinical begins at 6:45 am, and I'm just not sure the benefits outweigh the inconvenience and stress it will cause.
Of course, I'll probably still toss around the idea for awhile, and I might change my mind.
Thanks again, everyone. What a great bunch!
Jan 27, '02
And Student Sandra:
That's part of my reason for not doing it.... I'm sort of afraid that if I do that, for some reason, I'll be stuck at LPN. Its a stupid, superstitious fear that I can't get rid of. I plan on continuing on with my education and becoming a nurse-midwife and I can't waste any time!!!
I really enjoyed the OR, but I know its not for me. For one thing, its too damn COLD.
Good luck with your program... we'll graduate at the same time.
Jan 30, '02
I had to make the same difficult decision. I took the LPN course. I am VERY HAPPY with my decision.
I did not work as an LPN but did continue for my RN. At a later date I had to leave school. I had just barely failed to make the required 75% on my exams in one class, due to illness. So I left school and worked as an LPN. If this had happened without takeing the LPN class I would have nothing to show for my efforts. I returned to school and aced the class I failed before. Infact I had the highest grade in the class.
Now even if this did not happen here is what the LPN class does for you. It makes you more confident especially in clinicals. It give you much needed clinincal experience and more opportunities to paractice skills. You also learn to handle more than the usual 1-2 patients in the LPN course. This is important when you go to get a job after graduation. It also helps you to in your RN leadership course and practicum at the end of the RN program. I thought it would be very demanding but it was really fun and you get to sit for boards so that when you go for your RN boards you won't be so nerveous and you have a pretty good feel for what to expect.
One of my classmates did not take the LPN course and said she regreted it. Everyone who had gone before me recomended it. Even if you never work as an LPN it pays big dividends.
There is always things that happen along the way to becomming an RN things that can prevent or delay reaching that goal. Getiing your LPN is good insurance. You don't need to be stuck as an LPN but all sorts of strange unexpected things have happened to delayed acheving this goal. Without an LPN license there is not much to show for all your hard work if God forbid something does happen (deaths, family problems, finances, injury , illness divorce, family illness, fire, etc) These are just a few things I have been told or seen happen to nursing students that interupt school.
Jan 30, '02
Grace Oz and Agnus are right on the $$$$$$$ with their replies! Best of luck whatever you decide.
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