In September I will begin my LPN courses (a one year accelerated diploma program). I already hold a 2 year degree (and am also certified) in medical assisting, and a 1 year phlebotomy diploma (yes, a full year program in phlebotomy with externship). (Not to mention the years spent in ministry school - yes, I am an ordained minister.)
In my years working as a CMA, it has been my unfortunate experience to be treated horribly by RNs. I was even told "You are NOTHING" because I am certified, not licensed. Well, the MA profession only has voluntary certification. If licensing were available I'd be first in line to take the exam! My phlebotomy experience and education meant nothing. I was continually insulted in front of patients, but do you know what? The negative reflection was not on me. Patients didn't like it and would say so too. Many patients asked for me specifically because, quite frankly, I had more experience and intensive training in phlebotomy, and they far preferred for me to do their draws (pain and bruising issues).
After working in the medical field, I realized that I wanted to do more...I wanted to be a nurse. I am 54 years old though and was able to get accepted into an LPN program. The waiting list for the RN program in my area is 3 years.
After thinking about it very hard, I decided to go the LPN route for several reasons. First, the fact that I will be a nurse in a year. At my age I DO need to think about how many years I will be in school, costs, length of waiting lists, etc. I mean, at 54 if I wait 3 years just to start the RN program....well, you get my drift! I don't want to start my nursing career in my 60s (even though there's not a thing wrong with that, for me it's just not in the program). Second, I decided that I'm not sure I even want to be an RN. My greatest desire is to work bedside with patients. I have worked as a volunteer at a nursing home in my area for many years, and found my greatest satisfaction there.
Even though I am fully capable of becoming an RN, I feel that it is my calling to be an LPN. It is a calling with a long and noble history and I will be proud to be an LPN some day. I see a need for bedside nursing in LTC and I hope to fill it.
I have to admit that I have been a bit disheartened to read about the animosity between RNs and LPNs. I hope it isn't something I have to deal with. If I run across it, I will just keep in mind that I am following my dream and my path, not the one someone else thinks I should take and keep busy with my patients. If I keep my mind and heart on them I won't have time for any nonsense.
I am extremely appreciative of this series of articles! Kudos to the author!