CMA to LPN?? - page 2

by OLIVIALEN

29,903 Views | 33 Comments

Hi to all, I am new in the CMA field in North Carolina. I am working in a doctor's office now. I have been there close to six months. I have an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting. I was wondering how to go about going from... Read More


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    You had to go 2 years to be a CMA? Wow, it only takes 1 year where I live to become an LPN!
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    I have decided to go the LPN to RN route. Has anyone here done that? In Texas, the only difference is that you have to work for 6 months before you transistion to be an RN. For me, it looks like it's going to work out alot better, as I have to work nights while I am in school. Anyway, advice?
  3. 0
    Hello to all in this thread!

    I am an RN, but I was an LPN for 14 years (I just took Nclex-passed). I did an LPN to RN bridge program, but what might be helpful to anyone interested is that a program called WIA (Work force Investment Act), administerd via local state run employement centers covers almost all of the cost of school. At one time it used to be called JTPA. Anyway, if you are eligible, the program covers cost of tuition, books, and certain fees (covers nclex). It is available to lpns (I was in the program) and it was wonderful. WIA is available to LPN and ADN programs.

    To the CMAs here, I encourage you consider the RN program. Just like sentiments expressed that you work alongside LPNs and make less, so will you as an LPN make less than the RNs for the same work. It took me 13 years to get to this point.

    The LPN to RN bridge I went to involved finishing all pre reqs for the program- about a years worth (although it took almost 3 for me) of study full time, and a summer course that is a synopsis of the first two semesters. If sucsessful, you enter the third semester with all the other general nursing students (OB and Peds in my program). The bridge program is a year start to finish. You do, however need a year of clinical experience in a hospital or similar setting to get in. You can do this while getting your pre-reqs done.

    Good Luck to all! :smiley_aa
    Last edit by phil1968 on Aug 9, '06
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    Hi OLIVIALEN (and others in the thread);

    About a year ago I completed a CMA to LPN program at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minnesota. There were 8 CMA's who entered the program and 7 that graduated. The "mobility" or "pathway" program from CMA to LPN met all the MN state board of nursing required boardabilities and 6 of us sat for the boards and passed on our first try. I believe that we were possibly the 1st in the state and possibly in the nation that completed this kind of pathway (?). Unfortunately the school at the present time is not offering the program in spite of it's remarkable success and demand (for the reasons you just outlined).

    Essentially the programs were very close in curriculum (Anatomy/Med Term, Disease Conditions, etc..) so the only additional classes we had to take was Psych, nursing theory and LPN skills classes. My CMA program had a required externship of 165 hours in a clinic (or hospital if we chose) but we didnt have the clinical rotations the LPN program required so we had those in addition (Psych, Med Surg, OB, Geriatric/LTC, etc..). The administration of the program was a nightmare for us students but being experienced healthcare workers we advocated for ourselves and things worked out (the nursing instructors/staff hadnt a clue what we did as CMA's...I blame this on the fact that they all mostly had hospital but no clinic experience).

    I think the reason you dont see this kind of "mobility" academically is because the nursing field tends to be a little snobbish (quite frankly -- and I can say that now because I am a nurse). The nursing department at my school was very resistant to the pathway, mainly because of ignorance and (more sadly) stubbornness. The pathway had the blessing of the MN state board of nursing (which is in everyone's best interest because MN like the rest of the nation needs GOOD nurses badly - and I think they saw it as a good program). Old ways of thinking are hard to change so I dont think many nursing deans are going to be scrambling to knock down the door for this kind of program.

    We all passed our boards in the minimum time and on the first try (one hasnt take the boards yet because of family needs). We did very well academically in comparision to the other nursing students (Shouldnt nursing deans jump at the idea that they could increase board pass rates - looks good for them, looks good for the school, right?) As a CMA who completed the LPN program I had more skills than the other LPN's. I am great with blood draws and IV's (Most RN programs now dont even teach Phlebtomy/IV, they leave it to employers). I have a wealth of training in office procedures/billing/coding which LPN's dont have. I also understand and assist with office surgical procedure protocols and sterilization of the instruments afterwards (as a CMA).

    Often times I would be asked by instructors and other students why I just didnt start in nursing 1st. The answer is simple. I have more options than others now. At the time (and if the program had kept going) it gave the student the OPTION of completing their CMA in 9 mo's and stepping off school and working (tuition bills, life, etc..) as a healthcare profesional and then rejoining school to reach the next level. Instead of starting over in the LPN program it was much more beneficial to me to have the two programs stacked.

    I have to give credit where credit is due. The person responsible for championing and pushing the pathway program is the Director of the CMA program. She developed the pathway, advocated for us 8 students, and fought many, many bloody battles with the nursing department. For me personally it's allowed me to have a wealth of employment OPTIONS while I pursue my RN. Employers are very excited to HIRE me because of the training and experience I have now.

    My nursing career pathway will look like this when I'm done: CMA-LPN-RN-BSN-MSN. I wouldnt trade it for anything !!

    Best wishes to you and your nursing pursuit.
    classykaren likes this.
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    Hi Im Now A Cna And Going To School For Cma But It Kind Of Seem Like Lpn Do The Same Thingsa But When Im Done Im Going To School For Rn Too But I Was Going To Consider Doing Lpn First But The Classes Are Full For Know But Keep Up The Good Work I Wish You The Best With Your Career
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    I can also relate to this subject! I was a CMA and ran the entire, huge cardiology/internal med practice for 4 docs, as 'the office nurse'...without the nurse pay scale. I think you gain lots of hands on patient (psych) and clinical skills; but I digress again, the NURSING MATH on the entrance test (NLN PN)...are you as concerned as I am about this? Anyone? NVR2LATE
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    Why in the world are there no MA to LPN options or MA to RN options? It seems so logical!
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    Quote from wondering about it
    Why in the world are there no MA to LPN options or MA to RN options? It seems so logical!
    It doesn't seem logical to me. This is coming from someone who completed a MA program in 2000, a LPN program in 2005, and will graduate from an RN program in a few months.

    The medical model is drastically different than the nursing model. The MA designation falls under the medical model, while the LPN and RN designations fall under the nursing model. Since the LPN and the RN roles both fall under the same model, LPN-to-RN programs flourish. The MA program is a whole different animal that would be difficult to bridge over to the nursing model.
    Italia23 and txspadequeenRN like this.
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    i agree...the two jobs are completely different


    Quote from thecommuter
    it doesn't seem logical to me. this is coming from someone who completed a ma program in 2000, a lpn program in 2005, and will graduate from an rn program in a few months.

    the medical model is drastically different than the nursing model. the ma designation falls under the medical model, while the lpn and rn designations fall under the nursing model. since the lpn and the rn roles both fall under the same model, lpn-to-rn programs flourish. the ma program is a whole different animal that would be difficult to bridge over to the nursing model.
    classykaren and TheCommuter like this.
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    There seems to be a lot of biased comments on here, mainly from people who are either LPN/RN's, or who are in school to be one or the other.

    I'm in school to be a CMA. The school I go to also has an LPN program.
    It used to take 2 years of schooling to be a CMA. My program is 9 months long, but it is very fast paced and intense. The LPN program is longer at about 13 months. But is it as intense and fast paced?-I don't know. What I do is that my instructors tell me that what we do is very similar to what an LPN does, only we are also trained to do administrate work. I have also been told they are phasing out LPNs (at least in my area). I can also tell you that the outlook for CMA's seems to be more promising. Where I am located, they are in high demand. Mainly because they can go in many directions. We can work for government agencies, insurance companies and obviously doctors offices and hospitals. We can even branch off and work for cardiologists, in labs, etc.

    Also, the potential to make good money is there. Obviously, it depends where you work and what exactly you are doing. I know the average starting pay around here is between $16-$18 an hour if you are Certified-Not bad starting pay for just 9 months of schooling.


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