LVN to RN. Need Major Help!

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    Ok. Because the waiting list is so long to get into a nursing program at a community college. I was thinking about going to a career college, getting my LVN then doing a LVN to RN bridge program. It seems faster, like a shortcut. What do you think about that route, instead of waiting to get into a CC? Also, because I did my LVN when I go to do the bridge program would I still need my pre reqs or is that already included in the LVN program? I live in So Cal LA/OC area, So if you can tell me any good schools around here, that would be great. I heard that they are discontinuing LVN's on the east coast. I would only be taking this route so I can get my RN faster and not have to wait 3 years. It would also be nice to work as a LVN while I am going to school for my RN. Any advice will be very appreciated! Thanks

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  2. 13 Comments...

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    I don't know about schools in your area I can just tell you my personal experience of doing LPN-RN.
    1. Working as a LPN while in RN school enables me to work less while in school while earning a decent income. I make 23.50 an hr as a LPN with 18 months experience, its better than what I used to make before become a nurse.
    2. I have developed critical thinking skills as a LPN which benefits me as a RN student and future RN.
    3. I'm not "shy " about meeting new patients, family and doctors. My confident level is a little higher than some of my class mates.
    This worked for me. The transition was easy, no waiting lists, and I can earn money while in RN school. I know what to look forward to so far as working and passing boards. I will already have a job when I graduate. It won't be the my desired specialty but at least I will have a job as a RN !
    Good luck.
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    When you joined the RN program, did you have to take your pre reqs or did the LVN program cover that?
  5. 0
    Hi! I'm also from southern Cali and actually recently graduated from an LVN program. Community colleges had too long of a wait list so I jumped into a bridge program. To be honest I did find it liberating to finally be in school starting my nursing career! The only thing I do suggest if you decide to take this shortcut is to have your prerequisites for the RN program done or have them close to being done anyway. The LVN program I joined did cover all of the prereq's expected for LVNs so I was ok there, but now that I'm looking to get into an RN program I find myself delayed again because they all want the prereq's done and they're not included in the RN programs like LVN programs. But the good thing is you'll finish the LVN program in a year or so and you'll get to start working. Plus another thing to keep in mind is that some of these bridge programs tend to be a lot pricier than community colleges so you might want to keep that in mind. I hope i helped a bit.
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    You did help! Thank you. Which school did you go to for LVN? I thought that by taking LVN I can skip my pre reqs for RN but I guess I will do my pre reqs for it while working as an LVN. Have you found any jobs as a LVN?
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    I would definately warn you to be very careful with private, for-profit technical/career colleges. I would highly recommend do your general education at a community college both because it is a lot cheaper and often times the gen education credits from such schools do not transfer, if at some point you wan to get a different degree or your BSN, which in a lot of areas is becoming the standard. Also be sure to check with the state board of nursing to determine the school is accredited (NOT on PRBATION) and has adequate pass rates on the NCLEX-RN. There was a scandal with one of those types of school here in the midwest, they were accredited but due to poor pass rates they were given a set amount of time to raise them and when they failed to do so they lost their accreditation and everyone who was currently in their program, having taken out thousands of dollars in loans were left with loan payments they couldn't afford and an education that was essentially worthless as they could not sit boards and no school would accept their credits for transfer as their school was no longer accredited. So be sure you do your research on the school. I am not from CA, you might check out the Californa forum. I think you just have to weight you options and what is most important to you: finishing as early as possible, getting the highest quality of instruction, avoiding loans, prestige of school, etc. I had applied to a career college for my bridge too, but used it as a back up plan, luckily I got into a CC program enstead. I figure nursing doesn't pay well enough to get 10s of thousands of dollars in loans.

    Good Luck
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    I went to West Coast Ultrasound Institute, it began as a school for ultrasound and MRI but it has expanded to an LVN program and more. It's a good school, accredited and all of that. I was worried about that too, but as long as you do the research you'll be fine. You can check the credibility of any good school at The school will cost you more than a cc, but most of the bridge programs do. This school has great teachers, all RNs, NPs, and even a few doctors. You should check it out, they have a few locations. And no i haven't gotten a job yet, I just received my license so I'm starting the hunt for one now. Good Luck!
    Last edit by mitral9 on Feb 18, '11
    Maiden_89 likes this.
  9. 0
    I completed an LVN program at the Van Nuys campus of Casa Loma College in 2005. They also have campuses in Hawthorne and Anaheim that offer the LVN program.

    Keep in mind that the economy is terrible and finding an LVN job as a new grad is extremely difficult in southern California. Many new grad LVNs throughout CA who graduated in 2009 and 2010 still have never found their first jobs in nursing. So, while you are looking at the LVN license as a way to work and gain experience while you pursue your RN license, be cognizant that finding your first LVN job might be an uphill battle. Good luck to you!
  10. 0
    I chose to become an LPN because the waiting list for RN was too long. I am currently enrolled in an LPN to RN program. If I had waited for the RN program instead of being an LPN first. I would be broke, no car and probably homeless. So it was the best decision financially for me to become an LPN first.
    The RN program that I am in required no pre reqs.
    My timeline.
    LPN school 1 year, no wait, failed one class.. so it took me 16 months.
    licensed 1 month after graduation. Applied for RN program 4 months after graduation. Began RN program 11 months after graduation.
    Total time to get RN (estimated) 3 years and 9 months.

    Keep in mind that you may not be able to start an RN program as soon as you are finished with LPN school. Many nursing programs only begin a couple of times per year. My program for example, begins only one time per year in January. I graduated in February so I had to wait almost a year to start the program. But I am working as a nurse and making a decent salary.
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    I totally agree to what TheCommuter said, i live in Southern California and I was one of the LVN grads who graduated in 2010. I had my license since July and I haven't yet to even land a job at all up and down CALIFORNIA period. I landed interviews but from what a lot of the interviewers say they have no time to train new grads because they estimate that it takes them 3-4 months to train to be least at an experienced level. I had more job landings with other states such as Washington that were willing to train if i relocate, which pretty much I am now. The only thing that blows is paying more money for License Check with California and paying Washington for a reciprocity. Its quite frustrating when you have one person bringing in the income, but sacrificing $160 for the reciprocity and knowing i will have a job when i get there, then it all works out. Good Luck on the job search.

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