MA to LVN to PA... Or maybe NP?

  1. 0
    I am 20 years old, engaged, with no kids. Currently working as an MA in the lovely state of California.
    My question is complicated yet simple. My ultimate goal is to become a PA (physician assistant)
    The thing is that with all the budget cuts and work I've fallen behind in my pre-reqs to apply for the program.
    At this rate I might be looking to apply around late 2012, early 2013.
    I went to the Baldy View ROP MA program, I love being an MA but I just don't wanna be one FOREVER
    At Baldy View they offer a LVN program for about $3000 and lately it's been interesting me to become a nurse,
    which is something I never found intrest before. I would like to apply for the program but then I for some reason feel like
    I would be loosing focus on becoming a PA, then I though, hmmm why not become an NP?

    Do you lovely nurses out there think the LVN program would be a good step for me to take? Granted I would become an LVN and work cus a girl has bills to pay but then I get confused as to what comes next. Or should I just remain an MA and straight shoot it to a PA? Or NP?

    I am young and confused. Please do enlighten me with advice and wisdom. Thank you
  2. 4 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Just for your info, many universities are changing the NP programs to Doctorate's degree programs (previously Master's programs). This adds an additional step to your degree planning if you decide to go the NP route. However, becoming an LVN or RN first allows you to gain experience in the field and see how you like it before dedicating time and money to an advanced degree.
  4. 0
    Hello MAmorales, I actually just finished at Baldy View ROP in March of 2011. If you are looking into becoming an RN it might be better if you wait to get into an actual RN program. I wanted to be an RN before I went to Baldy View and now that I am finished I am having a difficult time finding a bridge progam, and I have checked out about 5 schools. Now that I want to be an RN, not finding a bridge program would require me to complete the full two year RN program almost making the LVN program a waste of time. There are pros and cons to this program and I will list them.

    Pros:
    - School is very cheap, when I paid it was $3500 but I know it goes up a few hundred dollars for every new class that comes in. Still very cheap compared to other private schools.
    - Almost all of the clinical sites are near the campus.
    - You get all the books, 5 uniforms, and a decent stethoscope included in the original cost.
    - If your unsure about making a career out of the medical field being an LVN can help you decide whether or not you want to pursue it or not before you sign up for something like a PA program.

    Cons:
    - School is 16 months long and Monday thru Friday. You get a few weeks and days off here and there which is nice.
    - Clinical sites are limited.
    - Might be hard to find an LVN to RN bridge program once you finish.
    - The school only starts a new LVN class every 16 months so if you missed the signups for the last class you literally are waiting on standby for 16 months.

    Let me know if you have any questions.
  5. 0
    Do you have any sort of bachelor's degree? I think most PA programs now are master's degree level.

    I think you should do more research to help decide which path to take. NPs and PAs will tell you that they basically do the same job. There are some differences between the professions, though. (Such as an NP may not require MD supervision, and PAs receive education in all specialties while NPs choose their specialty before entering school.)

    If you're applying to PA school in 2012, that will probably be your fastest route to becoming a mid-level provider. Switching to nursing at this point would put several steps between you and NP school.
  6. 0
    Hope you have done some research and found some answers since you first posted. I have been doing a TON of research on this matter as I am trying to decide what I should do as well.

    I'm 22 and have 3 years of college coursework, but still have about a year left. Unfortunately, due to increased cost (this school considers me out of state and tuition this year is 54K...yeah, you heard that right.) I cannot finish this year and have to wait until winter 2013 in order to be considered in-state and finish my non-nursing related degree. So I have no degree and no nursing pre-reqs. So since I have to wait a year to get my BS, I figure I should see if I can do an LVN program which would give me almost all my pre-reqs for PA school and give me experience.

    In order to apply for a PA program, you have to have:
    +a BA/BS in any field..there is no preference.
    +program specific pre-reqs (similar to those needed for nursing)
    +anywhere from 300hrs to 4 years of patient-care experience.

    There are very few Bachelors PA programs left as most jobs require a Master's degree now. And I think there may even be a few Associates PA programs left, but I would NOT recommend doing that as you would never get hired. So here are a couple options for you:

    1. Apply for a Bachelors PA program, then get an MPH (you just need a masters degree for work, it doesn't have to be PA since you would already have your bachelors in it)

    2. Get a BA or BS in any field, then apply for a Master's PA program

    3. Apply for a BS/MS 5 year program. I don't know how many of these exist, but I know there is one on the east coast if you are willing to relocate. This would be the fastest of your options. You are only 20, so you have time!


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