Do my LPN or stay at boring, well paid job?

  1. Hello

    I really need some good advice from you experienced and well educated people.

    I am a well paid ($40,000/year) receptionist who works for a wonderful company and wonderful bosses. My problem is that I am sooo bored out of my mind and that I commute 3 hours/day. My job is very relaxed and for the most part not very stressful - really it could be worse I guess.

    I have always had a passion for caring for people and believe I should do more with the compassion god gave me. I have mortgage payments and bills (just like everyone else - I am sure. But what I need to know is it worth me going into debt ($35,000) to achieve my LPN designation? I am worried that I wont have a secure job to pay my mortgage and loan after I graduate it seems like everything is casual. What can you experienced people tell me. Also my husband would like to have our first child within 2 years. Please help.... I have been contemplating this for sooo long. I just need to make a decision.

    Thanks!!!!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    WHOA!!! $35K for an LPN diploma/certificate?? My entire certificate including transportation and child care cost under $12K. That kind of money will pay for and RN degree.

    Now, personally, I would say stay where you are. No stress, more pay than an LPN. Many LPN's start out as casuals. Depending on where you live permanent positions are obtained by seniority. Do you want to work nights, evenings, two weekends out of four? Be low person on the vacation list? That's the reality of starting out as an LPN in your 40's. All day shift office hours are rare, competition for them hard, and most require a years experience.

    The four semesters of LPN school are hard work. Quiz after quiz, leading up until finals, clinicals and care plans, they all make for late nights. Be up before the crack of dawn to get to the hospital for clinicals (nothing like starting your car in the dead of winter to get to clinicals and find a parking spot with plug in?) Dealing with the little cliques that always form in classes that are mainly female. Do you really want to do this? I'm a realist. It was one of the most stressful years of my life (we did all four semesters back to back and graduated in 13 months).

    You really need to sit down and discuss this with your entire family, because it will affect all of them. You might want to try volunteering in some healthcare type agency, if you want to think more about it.
  4. by   mmarquis
    Quote from Fiona59
    WHOA!!! $35K for an LPN diploma/certificate?? My entire certificate including transportation and child care cost under $12K. That kind of money will pay for and RN degree.

    Now, personally, I would say stay where you are. No stress, more pay than an LPN. Many LPN's start out as casuals. Depending on where you live permanent positions are obtained by seniority. Do you want to work nights, evenings, two weekends out of four? Be low person on the vacation list? That's the reality of starting out as an LPN in your 40's. All day shift office hours are rare, competition for them hard, and most require a years experience.

    The four semesters of LPN school are hard work. Quiz after quiz, leading up until finals, clinicals and care plans, they all make for late nights. Be up before the crack of dawn to get to the hospital for clinicals (nothing like starting your car in the dead of winter to get to clinicals and find a parking spot with plug in?) Dealing with the little cliques that always form in classes that are mainly female. Do you really want to do this? I'm a realist. It was one of the most stressful years of my life (we did all four semesters back to back and graduated in 13 months).

    You really need to sit down and discuss this with your entire family, because it will affect all of them. You might want to try volunteering in some healthcare type agency, if you want to think more about it.
    I thank you for your very honest opinion. I knew all about those circumstances but I really didn't know how hard that would be. I know $35,000 sounds crazy but it is because I am going to attend Sprott Shaw (dont want to wait 2 years) and I have mortgage payments and bills on top of that as well. My husband is very supportive of whatever I want to do but I can understand how it will affect my whole family life. You have opened my eyes towards the schooling part.... didnt know it would be like that. Is it not all worth the BullSh.. though?
  5. by   Fiona59
    Put your name on the waitlist, save some cash towards the tuititon. (remember the tax credits and tuition credits--use the tax refund to pay down your student loan). Just because your name comes up on the waitlist doesn't mean you can't change your mind and say NO, I don't want to do this. $35K is a lot of money to spend to decide you don't like the career change.

    So, I would say join the waitlist, volunteer in some nursing homes (because a lot of clinical time and LPN positions are in nursing homes), or other agencies and when the time comes make the decision. I know that our five week clinical in nursing homes made about 10% of the class drop out (couldn't take the personal care--endless BM's) and by the fourth week I was really questioning why I was there in -20 weather looking for parking... I survived it but had to work LTC for 2 years before I landed a job in active treatment.
    Last edit by Fiona59 on Feb 14, '05
  6. by   loriangel14
    I agree with Fiona about the volunteering oart. Get some exposure to find out if you really want to do this. I don't know where you are situated but have you considered going part time? I am taking my rpn part time because I am a single parent and I need to work. I found when I was looking into taking the course that it was also a lot easier to get in part time ( no waiting lists).
    I am going to be 41 when I graduate but I have always wanted this and I am willing to take the drawbacks with the joy of finally being a nurse. If I didn't do this I would spend the rest of my life wishing I had. I think that your decision should be based on more than money, vacations, shifts etc. That is not why I want to be a nurse. Follow your heart. Good luck. :angel2:
  7. by   Fiona59
    Lori, nobody enters nursing for the great pay, vacation, or respect.:chuckle

    But it is something to consider. We need nurses not the "angels of mercy" type martyrs who see nursing as a vocation.

    Most nurses in Canada are unionized. Vacations are assigned by seniority. Access to jobs on units is determined by seniority. Being able to change shifts is based on seniority. It can be a joke when someone retires. The seniority list comes out, the posting goes up and we all took bets on who would get the job and we only had to check the list to see who it would be. The only reason permanent positions go to outside hires is that: the shift is lousy, or its a unit that nobody wants to work, be it due to charge nurses or work load.

    I've worked in facilities where married couples can't get the same vacation period, where people don't get their vacation approved until the Friday before they plan on leaving. And yes, the unions had to get involved in these situations. The standard line from nursing office "we don't know if we can cover your shifts".

    I worked casual for years for just that reason, I could get the time off that I wanted, take a position and I'd never see time off with my kids during school holiday or Christmas. I also didn't have to deal with unit politics.

    I've loved every job I've ever worked and liked most of my patients, and yes, I think I've made a difference in a few cases. But I also know that its my choice to nurse and accept or work with the conditions out there. When I went to school there were many young women in my class who didn't understand unions, seniority and are still trying to get their minds around workplace politics.

    So, having said all that if you want to get an LPN go ahead. Just know the realities.
  8. by   mmarquis
    Once again I really appreciate eveyone's experienced reply. I guess I can give you a few more statistics to help in some other info. I live in Maple Ridge, BC (about 40 minutes of Vancouver). Believe me if it was about the money I would be staying at this job. I have done volunteer work and really loved just being with people. I have tried for a job shadow but they have told me because of patient confidentiality that I cannot; therefore, I havent been exposed to BM's or catheders, etc. It was mentioned in Fiona's reply I believe that you had worked casual because of the shifts you could choose. I really wanted info on working casual. I was wondering do you get enough shifts and enough income to pay bills and support a family, etc.? or eventually do you need to get a permanent job? My husband makes good money to help supplement. All this info is really beneficial and I appreciate all honesty. I have done mass amounts of research but nothing compares to getting it right from the professionals. Thank you.
  9. by   Fiona59
    Check your pivate messages, Thanks.
  10. by   mmarquis
    Quote from Fiona59
    Check your pivate messages, Thanks.
    Thanks... just a message to check your private messages as well.
  11. by   C-40
    Quote from mmarquis
    Hello

    I really need some good advice from you experienced and well educated people.

    I am a well paid ($40,000/year) receptionist who works for a wonderful company and wonderful bosses. My problem is that I am sooo bored out of my mind and that I commute 3 hours/day. My job is very relaxed and for the most part not very stressful - really it could be worse I guess.

    I have always had a passion for caring for people and believe I should do more with the compassion god gave me. I have mortgage payments and bills (just like everyone else - I am sure. But what I need to know is it worth me going into debt ($35,000) to achieve my LPN designation? I am worried that I wont have a secure job to pay my mortgage and loan after I graduate it seems like everything is casual. What can you experienced people tell me. Also my husband would like to have our first child within 2 years. Please help.... I have been contemplating this for sooo long. I just need to make a decision.

    Thanks!!!!!
    I think it is great what you want to do and I don't think that you should have to worry so much about the realities of a career that you haven't even entered into yet. Every job has it's downside, and I think the same annoyances, interpersonal conflicts and institutional politics are found in just about every profession. I started nursing school not ever having set foot in a hospital, but was drawn to it for some reason and the decision to follow this instinct was the best thing I ever did. It was a second career for me, and for most of my classmates who had husbands, jobs, children, and a few were even pregnant at some point, which only illustrates that you are not alone in wanting a job that is more stimulating and rewarding. Despite nursing's sometimes not so glamorous moments, it is a job that is always needed, appreciated, offers great comraderie, and allows for more flexibility than any job I can think of...you are a nurse wherever you travel to or choose to live...it's great. Go For It!
  12. by   Hawaiigirl
    My Bro and sis both graduated from Sprott shaw and loved it. My Bro got offered a positon after only 7 months. He comes and goes when he wants. He just doesnt answer the phone lol. SO it can be set your own hours!!!!! He loves it.


    Quote from Fiona59
    Lori, nobody enters nursing for the great pay, vacation, or respect.:chuckle

    But it is something to consider. We need nurses not the "angels of mercy" type martyrs who see nursing as a vocation.

    Most nurses in Canada are unionized. Vacations are assigned by seniority. Access to jobs on units is determined by seniority. Being able to change shifts is based on seniority. It can be a joke when someone retires. The seniority list comes out, the posting goes up and we all took bets on who would get the job and we only had to check the list to see who it would be. The only reason permanent positions go to outside hires is that: the shift is lousy, or its a unit that nobody wants to work, be it due to charge nurses or work load.

    I've worked in facilities where married couples can't get the same vacation period, where people don't get their vacation approved until the Friday before they plan on leaving. And yes, the unions had to get involved in these situations. The standard line from nursing office "we don't know if we can cover your shifts".

    I worked casual for years for just that reason, I could get the time off that I wanted, take a position and I'd never see time off with my kids during school holiday or Christmas. I also didn't have to deal with unit politics.

    I've loved every job I've ever worked and liked most of my patients, and yes, I think I've made a difference in a few cases. But I also know that its my choice to nurse and accept or work with the conditions out there. When I went to school there were many young women in my class who didn't understand unions, seniority and are still trying to get their minds around workplace politics.

    So, having said all that if you want to get an LPN go ahead. Just know the realities.
  13. by   Hawaiigirl
    With casual-especially the hospital- you dont need another job-believe me- casual is more than full time.My brother and sister get called 2-3 x a day. My Bro worked 10 days in a row because they are so short staffed. Also on your over time days he makes double. I am for sure pursuing this career at Sprott Shaw in Nov- because with this kind of job your always guaranteed hrs. Casual to start is 21.50- they work at the hospital, and keep telling me do the lpn!!!!!!!!!. I also talked to some RN's and they said any where you live you pretty much have a job. Its sooooooo true! Good Luck!!!!!! The reward for hard work is way past good!


    Quote from mmarquis
    Once again I really appreciate eveyone's experienced reply. I guess I can give you a few more statistics to help in some other info. I live in Maple Ridge, BC (about 40 minutes of Vancouver). Believe me if it was about the money I would be staying at this job. I have done volunteer work and really loved just being with people. I have tried for a job shadow but they have told me because of patient confidentiality that I cannot; therefore, I havent been exposed to BM's or catheders, etc. It was mentioned in Fiona's reply I believe that you had worked casual because of the shifts you could choose. I really wanted info on working casual. I was wondering do you get enough shifts and enough income to pay bills and support a family, etc.? or eventually do you need to get a permanent job? My husband makes good money to help supplement. All this info is really beneficial and I appreciate all honesty. I have done mass amounts of research but nothing compares to getting it right from the professionals. Thank you.

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