CMA to LPN??

  1. 0
    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 CMA to LPN.
    I did not really want to do this, I am 34 and have two kids. I just wanted to be a CMA. However, I am doing the exact same work as the LPN's at our office and getting paid a LOT less. I have asked of their training and I have taken all of the same exact courses. I also had to pass an exam through the AMT to be Certified or I could not work as a CMA. I am refered to as a nurse at work by the patients and the staff including the docs. If a patient asks me, I say I am a Certified Medical Assistant, they don't know what I am talking about, they think I said CNA. The only thing that I do not preform in our office is IV's. Other than that they have me do everything else. I give injections, vaccinations, preform wet preps, EKGs, triage, the whole nine yards. I feel now I should try to be an LPN if I have to do the same job, so I can receive the same pay and status. I am working as a nurse but can't really call myself one. It is very frustrating. Not only was I trained in all the clinical procedures I also was trained to do all of the clerical procedures. I can do billing, coding, as well as patient care. I am sometimes put in different areas if the doc I work with is off. I was just wondering how to go about the move from CMA to LPN and if anyone has any information. I am doing way more than I thought I would be and now I feel I may have cheated myself by not going to LPN school but the waiting list to get in to a program was pretty long. Do the classes I have taken count or would I have to take them all again?
    Thanks So Much, Olivialen
  2. 33 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Olivia, I can so relate to your feelings! i too am( was) a medical assistant / phlebotomist.... went thru the course at our local vocational school eight years ago.... could of kicked myself when I found out that if I would of entered the LPN course and went 1 additional month I could of had my LPN degree. I too worked in a dr."s office side by side with two LPN's and made alot less. But now that I have almost completed the course( 2 weeks from graduating) I see the difference between the two titles and all that they entail. It's alot more than just the ability to start an IV. I recommend the LPN course if you want to branch out of the dr.'s office. That is why I did. I wanted to be able to work in more surgical type areas and such... The good thing is , that your backround knowlegde will give you a head up on alot of things...some girls in my class with little to no exp. really struggled to grasp things that I already knew! So before you jump in to the program ... ask yourself if you want it! It is a tough course! I am a 37 yr old single mom and I really had to sacrifice alot to make it thru this year! But it has all been so worth it! Our program doesn't require any pre-reqs.... all the needed classes are encorporated into the program... Good luck in your decision. Hope my input was helpful!
    trisha611 likes this.
  4. 0
    hello from Missouri! iam currenty an LPN student due to graduate in Decemeber. you are so right about being CMT. its almost exactly what an LPN does only a few things that you are not able to do. i have not heard of a CMT to LPN Program. if you went through a CMT program.. most likely the classes you took will not transfer... thats how it is here anyway. the LPN program is just a year and you'll come out makin an average of 19$ an hour which im not sure how much you're makin but maybe its worth it.. hopes this info help you!!!!
    Jen
  5. 0
    Thank you for writing back. I don't want to work in a hospital though, I like what I do but in my office that is really the only thing that they will not let me do, to be honest I had no idea I would be doing near what I already do there. I am happy with the setting just the big difference in pay and I do mean BIG,is hard to swallow. I already owe $20,000 in loans for the CMA degree. My oldest is autistic too and school plus kids plus job-- not an option. Maybe I will stay put if the classes I have taken won't count. Don't know if I can do two more years of school. Thanks again and good luck in your new career.




    Quote from lpn2b25
    Olivia, I can so relate to your feelings! i too am( was) a medical assistant / phlebotomist.... went thru the course at our local vocational school eight years ago.... could of kicked myself when I found out that if I would of entered the LPN course and went 1 additional month I could of had my LPN degree. I too worked in a dr."s office side by side with two LPN's and made alot less. But now that I have almost completed the course( 2 weeks from graduating) I see the difference between the two titles and all that they entail. It's alot more than just the ability to start an IV. I recommend the LPN course if you want to branch out of the dr.'s office. That is why I did. I wanted to be able to work in more surgical type areas and such... The good thing is , that your backround knowlegde will give you a head up on alot of things...some girls in my class with little to no exp. really struggled to grasp things that I already knew! So before you jump in to the program ... ask yourself if you want it! It is a tough course! I am a 37 yr old single mom and I really had to sacrifice alot to make it thru this year! But it has all been so worth it! Our program doesn't require any pre-reqs.... all the needed classes are encorporated into the program... Good luck in your decision. Hope my input was helpful!
  6. 0
    Quote from OLIVIALEN
    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 CMA to LPN.
    I did not really want to do this, I am 34 and have two kids. I just wanted to be a CMA. However, I am doing the exact same work as the LPN's at our office and getting paid a LOT less. I have asked of their training and I have taken all of the same exact courses. I also had to pass an exam through the AMT to be Certified or I could not work as a CMA. I am refered to as a nurse at work by the patients and the staff including the docs. If a patient asks me, I say I am a Certified Medical Assistant, they don't know what I am talking about, they think I said CNA. The only thing that I do not preform in our office is IV's. Other than that they have me do everything else. I give injections, vaccinations, preform wet preps, EKGs, triage, the whole nine yards. I feel now I should try to be an LPN if I have to do the same job, so I can receive the same pay and status. I am working as a nurse but can't really call myself one. It is very frustrating. Not only was I trained in all the clinical procedures I also was trained to do all of the clerical procedures. I can do billing, coding, as well as patient care. I am sometimes put in different areas if the doc I work with is off. I was just wondering how to go about the move from CMA to LPN and if anyone has any information. I am doing way more than I thought I would be and now I feel I may have cheated myself by not going to LPN school but the waiting list to get in to a program was pretty long. Do the classes I have taken count or would I have to take them all again?
    Thanks So Much, Olivialen
    Check with your local college or technical school LPN programs. Get a certified copy of your transcripts and make an appointment to have them reviewed with the admissions person at the school of your choice. You may find that you haven't taken the "exact" same prerequisites. At my school we have Anatomy and Physiology with a lab that is a mid 200 level course and is a year long endeavor that the RN students must take. (after taking human biology with lab and intro to Chem) (we don't have an LPN program anymore). The MA students also take A&P...but it is under 100 level and is a "basic concepts" course and only one quarter. Not the same thing at all, so you would have to take the correct level of coursework to apply to the nursing program. Also 200 level micro, 1 or two terms of Chem and nutrition etc... If you are sure that you took the same courses as the nursing students then you should be in good shape to apply and (assuming you have good grades) get in. Good luck with your plans. I do think you will find that the focus and depth/breadth of the material in nursing coursework is quite different having taken the MA pharm and med administration/math class as a prep course for nursing I can tell you that in my admittedly limited experience... the two aren't really comparable in terms of depth. I will concede that I am in an RN program so there is a difference, but I know that at the community college up north from me, their LPN program requires higher level coursework than the MA program there as well. So i guess just double check, in any case I am sure that your MA education and experience will benefit you as you will have a basic foundation already in place.
  7. 0
    WOW that is a difference of $8 more an hour than I make now (which I am starting out). Maybe I will look into it after all. I am not sure of the length of time it will take here for the program but that is a big raise!
    Thanks for the input,
    Olivialen

    Quote from iluvnursing625
    hello from Missouri! iam currenty an LPN student due to graduate in Decemeber. you are so right about being CMT. its almost exactly what an LPN does only a few things that you are not able to do. i have not heard of a CMT to LPN Program. if you went through a CMT program.. most likely the classes you took will not transfer... thats how it is here anyway. the LPN program is just a year and you'll come out makin an average of 19$ an hour which im not sure how much you're makin but maybe its worth it.. hopes this info help you!!!!
    Jen
  8. 0
    Quote from OLIVIALEN
    Thank you for writing back. I don't want to work in a hospital though, I like what I do but in my office that is really the only thing that they will not let me do, to be honest I had no idea I would be doing near what I already do there. I am happy with the setting just the big difference in pay and I do mean BIG,is hard to swallow. I already owe $20,000 in loans for the CMA degree. My oldest is autistic too and school plus kids plus job-- not an option. Maybe I will stay put if the classes I have taken won't count. Don't know if I can do two more years of school. Thanks again and good luck in your new career.



    you most likely would only need 1 year of school (but i hear it is a rough year!). I still say go down and talk to the admissions folks just to see if you could do it. If you stay a CMA could you make more money as a tech in a hospital? could you pick up some shifts as a phlebotomist or do agency Nursing assistance. Just trying to come up with some other money making options if you can't go for LPN...
  9. 0
    A lot of the classes you've taken will be similar to what LPNs learn, but at a different level. Some of them may be able to count towards the LPN program but there's no guarantee. At my school, I know they will count the A&P and medical terminolgy classes from other programs, but other than that you would have to take other classes. But it will be easier for you than other students. If you can find a vo-tech school it will probably cost around $5000, but that's a rough estimate. Did you go through a private school for the MA in order for it to cost that much?
    I'm sure it's frustrating. I started a medical assisting program but after doing my phlebotomy clinicals for it I decided I really wanted to do more of the nursing side.
  10. 0
    8$ an hour!!!! wow.. see thats whats wrong with the whole medical field! CNA's and CMT's work their butts off... their the ones cleaning up the poop, and throwup, basically doin the dirty work and i know nurses do the same too.. sometimes... but not like them.. i encourage you to continue your education.. especially in the medical field.. things change all the time so its really important.
  11. 0
    I also went from a CMA to LPN. In my opinion the difference lies in what you are trained to do. I learned more in my LPN program, but the majority of it pertained to the hospital setting. I also learned critical thinking skills in the LPN program. I have worked in a clinical setting for 11 years as a CMA and I am still working there as an LPN. I love the clinical setting but know that I have the option of branching out if I want too. I am sure you will have a least a year to a year and a half to put in for your LPN. If a nurse is where your heart is, I say go for it!!! I am glad that I did and I love being a nurse


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