I see this question posted on allnurses all the time. The should I become an LVN/LPN first or go straight for RN? I'd like to give this question a home so to speak and my opinion based on my own personal experience and taking into account various situations.
IF you can live at home inexpensively and have a fair flexible non demanding job OR you can afford to live like a poor student for the 2-4 years then I would suggest going the RN community college or state college route. Do your prereqs, wait out the list and maybe work as a CNA/PCT on the side. You'll come out of the experience with little to no debt.
The main factor in this working for you is usually if you have time. Usually if you are young and have no heavy financial commitments. Theres a certain period of time based on your family where living at home with your parents is acceptable and in some case encouraged. If this is your situation this is what I personally would recommend.
But TTP you say I have a family/live on my own/have to pay rent/no parental/spousal support. I should become an LVN first right?
Do you need a wage soon? OR Can you live on a CNA's salary for a couple of years?
If you can get your LVN training inexpensively then yes go for it.
If you can then can you afford to live plus pay back student loans while earning an LVN wage ( it's less than what the schools are going to promise you)
Do you have a plan in place for once you become an LVN to complete your RN? If so then YES become an LVN first.
My personal situation is this. My husband lost his job of 18 years in March 08 although he found another in less than 3 weeks it paid less and our sense of security was gone. I needed a career and I didn't have 4 years to do it.
I signed up for a private college to start in June 08
Put half on federal loans half in cash. After having private loans for another college years ago I always suggest you avoid and stick to the nice government ones
Graduated June 09 got a license and job in Oct 09 (paid less than expected oh well)
Before I started LVN school I never knew I wanted to be a nurse so only had English as a prereq. While I was doing LVN school I took psych and sociology courses online. My plan was to apply to a local college as soon after graduation as I could
In spring 10 I applied for RN school. I applied to a school that would let me take my prereqs while still officially being in the program.
I start Fall 10. I move into clinical classes for the bridge in Fall 11 and I finish Dec 2012
So break down: Time elapsed from starting LVN to projected graduation date 4.5 years. About the time it would have taken if I did the community college and wait list route so that comes out even
What I got in return: LVN License and a job that pays more than McDonalds and some experience.
What I gave up in return : Way more $$$ and lots more loans. Probably I'll come out even in the end if you use the equation
Tuition-Increase in earning=0
I think my choice worked out because I was focused and worked out my game plan ahead of time including plans B-Z
If I had the choice and could have got the community college route heck yes but it wasn't open to me anymore.
So yes being an LVN is ok for me but only for the short term. I think I will get through RN school ok and I think I will already have known what burnout feels like. Hopefully be a better wise more savvy new grad RN than I was an new grad LVN
So whats your story?