CMA to LPN?? CMA to LPN?? - pg.2 | allnurses

CMA to LPN?? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. Visit  woodymn1 profile page
    #13 1
    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.
  2. Visit  MISS18LE19 profile page
    #14 0
    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
  3. Visit  nvr2late profile page
    #15 0
    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
  4. Visit  wondering about it profile page
    #16 0
    Why in the world are there no MA to LPN options or MA to RN options? It seems so logical!
  5. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #17 2
    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.
  6. Visit  txspadequeenRN profile page
    #18 2
    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.
  7. Visit  orangepancakes profile page
    #19 0
    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.
  8. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    #20 0
    The OP would make more progress if she were to pursue an RN rather than an LPN license. Hope she was able to reach a goal in the time that has elapsed since thread was started.
  9. Visit  txspadequeenRN profile page
    #21 2
    lvn's will never be phased out in any area....as long as there is long term care , home health and hospice there will be lvn's....if cma's are in demand it because they are cheaper to employ. however , a cma can never replace a lvn or rn because of the vast differences in job description and scope of practice....the nurse and cma education is two completely different monsters....i have done all three jobs cma,lvn and rn... to me being a cma is a terminal job...



    Quote from orangepancakes
    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.
  10. Visit  HeartsOpenWide profile page
    #22 2
    Quote from OLIVIALEN
    I have asked of their training and I have taken all of the same exact courses.
    There is no way you took all of the same exact courses, or else you would have been in a LPN program and not a Medical Assisting program. There might be a few courses that were similar. There is no CMA to LPN. There may be a few classes you do not have to take again like sociology. some science, and maybe an English and math class but you will have to take all of the LPN courses and finish the program to become a LPN. Yes, I use to be a CMA, I am not being bias, just stating the facts. Most MA course are not even transferable.
  11. Visit  orangepancakes profile page
    #23 0
    There has been a lot of talk of LPN's being phased out for quite some time. Even if that is not true, you cannot deny that LPNs have less options.
    Less options means more competition, and a harder time finding work. It took my friend over a year to get hired as an LPN because the jobs are so scarce. (At least around here). Her starting pay was equivalent to what a CMA's starting pay is, so I don't know why people are saying LPN's make more.
    Also, I don't see many people hiring LPN's around here. I see people looking to hire CMA's, RN's and nurse practitioners.
  12. Visit  orangepancakes profile page
    #24 0
    I think some people on here may post lies to look more credible, and so they can bad mouth CMA's without looking biased.
    I think it's highly unlikely that someone would go from being a CMA to LPN to RN because that's a whole lot of schooling and a lot of wasted time and money. Wouldn't it make more sense to just go to school to be an RN, and skip the whole LPN thing completely, seeing as how you don't even have to start off as an LPN to be an RN? And if being a CMA is a totally different "monster" and scope of practice, then why ever start off as a CMA if you want to be a nurse in the first place? Doesn't make any sense to me.

    Seems to me that "you" are just a biased nurse, which is a shame.
  13. Visit  kat7ap profile page
    #25 4
    Quote from orangepancakes
    I think some people on here may post lies to look more credible, and so they can bad mouth CMA's without looking biased.
    I think it's highly unlikely that someone would go from being a CMA to LPN to RN because that's a whole lot of schooling and a lot of wasted time and money. Wouldn't it make more sense to just go to school to be an RN, and skip the whole LPN thing completely, seeing as how you don't even have to start off as an LPN to be an RN? And if being a CMA is a totally different "monster" and scope of practice, then why ever start off as a CMA if you want to be a nurse in the first place? Doesn't make any sense to me.

    Seems to me that "you" are just a biased nurse, which is a shame.
    With all respects, you are on a NURSING website so yes there may be some bias here. However you are still in medical assisting school. Many of these responses are from people who have actually practiced in the real world. Keep in mind that what your instructors tell you in school does not always reflect reality. The truth is that many schools fabricate or embellish the medical assisting profession to keep up the enrollment. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad field to go into, but it's in NO way equivalent to LPN or LVN. Not many MA graduates will be making $16-18 right out of school. In my area the starting may is about $10-13 and most places advertise 1 year experience required. New LVNs here can easily get jobs here starting at $18-20+/hr. Good luck with your schooling.

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