Career Changer with LOTS Of Questions

  1. Hello,
    I was wondering if anybody could help me by offering any advice and/or incite to an LVN career and schooling. I am 43 and am going back to school to become an LVN. Besides the fact that I am changing careers (from a 9-5 type of office job) and my age, I haven't been in school, since graduating college, for about 20 years. I have a ton of questions but will start with a few to get motivated and to lessen my fear/anxiety. Has anyone become an LVN at or about my age and or transitioned from an office job? Has anybody done an informational interview prior to committing to the Nursing field? Is the 52 week (Concorde) program really hard? Don't you get any breaks? How often are you tested? How often would you say that you study a night/day? Any, Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

    Help, I'm so confused
  2. Visit NewbieAt43 profile page

    About NewbieAt43

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 14; Likes: 7
    Unemployeed/Career Changer; from US


  3. by   Ginger's Mom
    I have taught in the Practical Nurse program and I have found the mature students often to be the best students and do very well in school. Best of luck.
  4. by   Fiona59
    When I trained, my programme was 53 weeks (worked out to four semesters) We had roughly a week off between semesters.

    Now they've gone to a two year, four semester programme with longer breaks.

    I was 40 when I went. I waited until my kids were all in school. Made day care less of a hassle (only needed before and after school care)

    Some courses you need to spend more time on than others. First semester was more study time. After that it was care plans and writing the b*ggers that took the time. Plan on needing two hours to yourself a night.
  5. by   NewbieAt43
    Thank you for replying to some of my questions! I feel a little more encouraged. Hopefully I'll hear more advice and responses to my questions.
  6. by   eldragon
    I became an LPN when I was 44. The program I went to was a solid year with approximately 2 weeks off total throughout the year.

    The program I went through was hard and most of the class failed. We started with 26 and ended with 9. I was lucky in that I didn't have to work and my kids were older, so I never missed a class or clinical, and was never late. Other students failed because of things related to everyday life, like working, etc.

    I'm glad I did it but being an LPN is frustrating also. At my age, most people think I have years of experience. I guess I carry it off well because unless someone asks me outright, which is rare, I don't tell them I am a new nurse.

    I've been at my first LPN job, the first job I applied for and was hired on the spot - for 16 months now. I just put in my notice this week, however, as I met my goal at the particular facility and really need a change.

    Good luck!
  7. by   NewbieAt43
    Hey, thanks for responding. I hear mixed things about the LVN/LPN schooling, some say its hard some say it's not too bad. I hope the fact that I could endure and pass 4 years of college I can do this. Since this is a career change for me do you mind if I ask what you did prior to going to nursing school? What did you find the hardest? Are you enjoying your career choice?
  8. by   Ginger's Mom
    I had many college grads who failed PN school. It is very intense. I taught the evening program. The students attended class 3-9 pm one day and clinical 3-10 two evenings. It was a 2 year program.

    The exams are every three to four weeks and you must have an 75 to pass, I believe they are increasing this to 80.
    Most schools will give you a test that will assess your aptitude for nursing.

    I would suggest you volunteer in a nursing home or hospital to see if you would enjoy being in that setting for work.

    I have found the older students do better since they are not out partying.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    I completed the LVN program at Casa Loma College in Van Nuys in 2005. If you're planning to attend the Concorde campus in North Hollywood, the two schools are in the same general part of town.

    The southern California job market has been very brutal to new LVNs lately. Please click on the blue link below to read the responses. Good luck to you!

    Southern California Thread
  10. by   lala2009
    i suggest you take your money somewhere else. I heard that concorde's LVN program was recently shut down b/c it wasn't a good program. Students were cheating and teachers were passing anybody. I personally know someone who went there, graduated but still can't pass their boards!!! You'd want to do more reasearch on schools. Invest your money in a school that would actually teach you and help you prepare become a great nurse!
  11. by   eldragon
    Quote from NewbieAt43
    Hey, thanks for responding. I hear mixed things about the LVN/LPN schooling, some say its hard some say it's not too bad. I hope the fact that I could endure and pass 4 years of college I can do this. Since this is a career change for me do you mind if I ask what you did prior to going to nursing school? What did you find the hardest? Are you enjoying your career choice?

    All the ideals I had in life about studying hard for tests and being rewarded with a good grade, were shot down completely in LPN school. In the program I attended, we had a minimum of 2 tests every 4 days and had to have an 80 to pass. No second chances, no makeup tests. Same with clinicals - you miss one, you'll likely fail the entire program. One students cell phone rang in a clinical setting - she answered it - and failed for the day - was sent home, and ultimately could not bring up her clinical grade and failed the course.

    Being an LPN for 1.5 years now, working full-time in a SNF/LTC, I find the LPN course to be laughable. Why did we struggle through 3 months of maternal child when we will never get to work in OB/GYN? And what's worse? The schools here cut out their pharmacology classes from the LPN programs! Does that even make sense?

    Pharmacology is the biggest part of the beginning LPN job in a nursing home, in my experience.

    And the RN program continues with this questionable educational strife. Ridiculous rules for pass/fail. (one student forgot to circle the correct answer on two questions on a dosage calculations test, and missed the two questions, even though the answers were right).

    Why are some nursing programs so bootcamp-like? I find it to be ridiculous. I still feel that students should be able to study for tests and pass the tests, and put sincere effort into programs and be able to pass them. But that's not always the case, from my experience.
  12. by   DTC
    I worked in the health insurance industry for 26 years before becoming an LPN at age 52. My child was grown and out on her own, I was divorced with no obligations and was able to sail through school. It requires alot of studing and out of the starting class of 53, 22 of us graduated and the two "oldeis", me and another woman aged 51 both graduated near the top(well,,,she WAS at the top of the class!). If the desire is there,,age should not be a factor! Go for it! It's one year of your life, and where will you be in one year if you DON'T go to LPN school and get your degree?
  13. by   CynicallyVexed
    My program was a year long program, a week off between semesters. Older students did better in my class cause they knew it was a career change, it was some of their last chances to make a change in their life. And they ended up some of the best dedicated students even making honor society cause they gave up their jobs and everything to dedicate their time to school. You will become friends with the older students in your class that are in similiar situations and you will bond. Cliques for in classes no matter how old you get.

    If you can read well then you will do good in LPN school, cause there is ALLOT of material to read in lpn school. It is broken down to trimesters

    The first trimester you learn the basics:
    Vocational relations, A&P, Medsurg 1, Skills and the last four weeks of class you spend tues, wed, thurs at 6 hour day clinicals in a nursing home practicing basic nursing assistant skills and some sterile procedures. other times Mon-Fri you are in class 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tests during this semester you have weekly and you have to make above an 81 average to pass the class.

    the second trimester it's all medsurg and pharmacology. You have 3 weeks were you are in class all week mon-fri 8-2:30 p.m. and tues,wed,thurs, you are at medsurg clinicals taking patients, giving drugs, and practicing your skills and assessments/charting and you spend every Mon & Fri in class all day, where you can expect a test each week.

    The third trimester
    you have Emergency medicine, L&D, Peds, Psych, and nursing management. You will have class every Mon&Fri, two test a week. and Every two weeks you rotate through Emergency medicine, L&D, Peds, Psych and Nursing management clinicals. many of the courses are short, and you only do two courses at a time. Emergency medicine course is only two weeks and then you pick up with another course like psych.

    and most of all if you think becoming a nurse is the thing for you, then go for it. This program is only a year, and a great way to get your foot in the door. Anybody can do ANYTHING for a year Goodluck.