after your first semester of LPN courses you should be able to take the test to be a CNA.
...or a med aide.
When you pass Fundamentals (in first semester), you can test out for CNA.
When you pass Pharm (in later semesters), you can test for med aide. However, you'll only be able to work in LTC if you're a med aide. Nurses handle their own meds elsewhere or, at least, I've never seen one in a hospital or anything.
They earn more than CNA (but not much more). You'll become more familiar with the meds. It's less physical.
Still, CNA is a good bet. It's a great way to practice soft skills and when your aides are knee deep in pts, you can actually help instead of standing around with a bullhorn yelling out 'orders'.
Choice is yours.
You MUST be proactive and try your best to secure a GVN slot. *graduate vocational nurse* (what you'll be when you graduate - before you've passed NCLEX).
I've observed that many LTCs won't touch a new grad until they've passed NCLEX.
A suggestion (and play around with it to your liking according to the conditions in your local economy):
Once you get you pass Fundamentals (because the flexibility lies in CNA not MA or med aide...it's all about making sure that you have options and a WELL-PAYING job in the end.), get your paperwork to your dean and get your CNA.
Then, try homehealth (HH). You'll have plenty of time to study. It's 1x1. NOt 20x1. LOL It's quiet. You'll probaby earn more in HH. Your work schedule will be more flexible than LTC. Also, when you take clients, you come in contact with MANY facilities whichh translates to more networking opportunities.
That doesn't mean 'hang around the nurse's station' all day. LOL
Just find facilities that you like. Do your best to take assignments at THOSE facilities often and become a familiar face.
THEN...(when you're close to graduating, maybe 3 months out), apply for tech/aide positions at the hospitals, LTCs, LTACS...dialysis is great, too. Search for 'weekend double' positions.
Working evenings as an aide and attending school FT will be difficult. You need time to study and focus on your work.
Don't quit the HH agency. That way, you can roll into an LVN homehealth gig. I've observed that most staffing co won't touch a baby nurse. Liability. They may not 'train' you, but since you're known and you've worked for the HH for months, they're likely to be more than willing to bring you on and let you take on assignments as a nurse.
Let's say that you can't find an LVN job or the GVN position falls through?
It's ok. You have your $18-23hr (to start) homehealth job in the meantime.
Lastly, don't - DO NOT - rely on the internet to do the work for you. "Oh, I applied to 100 facilities and haven't rec'vd a callback"
Call and speak with the hiring manager. Go to these facilities and request the same in person. Fill out an app. For hospital work and jobs that force you to apply online? You've gotta unleash your inner opportunist and get to networking. This is healthcare and it's VERY small world. Don't burn bridges, for the sake of your career.
I have a job and was looking for another. I've interviewed with 3 prospective employers
and they all know my DON.
Your family? You can't expect that everyone will be supportive of you and when you do become successful? You can't expect that some won't look upon your success and be envious. If you've achieved more than them? Of course, they would.
They may be happy for you. It's just that, for those that dont reach life goals or meet their potential? Another's success can be a reflection of their failure. They can't help but be bitter.
...or as the saying goes, "Haters gon' hate." LOL
If it happens - WHEN it happens - just understand that it's nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
This is your life. These are your career goals. If you want to be a nurse?
Maybe you'll succeed and maybe you'll change your mind or find something else more fitting.
Whatever you do, take care to not do unreasonable/nonsensical things for the sake of pleasing others...only. Years down the line, it may come to pass that you rue the very day that you were cowed by your family members.