what did LPN school teach me? not much im afraid... will RN school help me?!

  1. hey everyone!

    i am writing to see what some of you think regarding LPN schools and the level/quality of education?... and... if it gets better?!

    I have been an LPN for two and 1/2 years.... and i still feel very confused at times! i really struggled through LPN school. I so badly wanted to be a nurse, but a combination of lack of self confidence and zero medical experience I really passed by the skin of my teeth. I often feel like these vocational schools are out to make money and will put out as many LPNs as possible, regardless of if they understand a concept, and regardless of the lack of jobs out there for them.

    I work in a pediatric office and love it! I am lucky to work with a doctor who educates me... but its still really discouraging how much I DONT know at this stage of the game vs. how much I SHOULD know.

    I am in school right now working on a final few pre-requisites for an RN program and I am doing better than ever in college. I am hoping that going into an RN program will help me better understand concepts and feel more confident.

    I guess my other question is for an of you LPN to RN students, or current RNs (who were once LPNs)... does going to RN school help you understand?!

    Thank you!
  2. Visit lorenwithano profile page

    About lorenwithano

    Joined: Apr '08; Posts: 58; Likes: 5
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   NYLady
    I'm so sorry to hear you are not satisfied with your education. I was never an LPN but what you describe does not sound right. What school do you go to? Perhaps if your post is directed as other students who go to your same school you can find out if there are others in the same situation. From your description, I would advise changing schools when you move to the RN level.
  4. by   moonglow
    I found my LPN education to be amazing.I came out of school many years ago a confident,educated person with a bright future.I went to a state school.In CT,I have found that since many of the technical/vocational schools have been closed,and the private schools have taken over,the LPN's I have encountered through my job have been sub-par.Many are lacking basis skills,and I mean basic(accurate charting,cath insertion,how to talk on the phone)I am more than willing to mentor,and rather enjoy it but I draw the line at little hearts instead of dots on the "i"'s and not having the professional demeanor it takes to speak to a physician.LTC was my playground,and thanks to a few kind,generous,seasoned nurses I was able to learn in a warm,nurturing environment and use my education for the greater good.It sounds like your school needs help.I paid $800 dollars for my education,not $25,000 the private sector schools now charge,and have been very successful thus far.
  5. by   demylenated
    I am sorry you feel like you weren't taught sufficiently. I went to a private vocational school, but they had a very high expectation. I had so much hammared into my head, that I felt well prepared in the field.

    12 years later in the LPN to RN transition program it is INTENSE. I am in class with a lot of girls that graduated in the last 5 years, and they are barely passing (riding the 80 line when 78 is needed to pass). Meanwhile, I have an "A". I still recall things hammered into my head!!

    Yes, going back to school WILL help you, it will NEVER hurt you. However... you may want to consider your knowledge right now, because if you feel like you weren't taught sufficiently, you may have a difficult time in the transition program which will hurt your confidence again...

    Look into a refresher course... Or get a saunders RN NCLEX book and start reading through it. This will help you prepare for the transition course, which is always extremely intense!

    Good luck
    Last edit by demylenated on Jul 8, '11
  6. by   lorenwithano
    i worked in a nursing home for a brief time after graduating my LPN program and I just remember my supervisor saying that "it's not your fault schools are putting out sub-par nurses" (i questioned him regarding a ceftriaxone order... i was new... i wanted to have another set of eyes... he saw this as idiotic). i think that nursing is just a lot! i will say... i have come a LONG way since graduating my LPN program. i am always reading up on things i dont understand. its just very discouraging right now... 2 and 1/2 years later i am not that confident nurse i had hoped to be.
  7. by   demylenated
    IMO 2 years is NOT that long. Esp when working in a clinic where you aren't exposed to a lot of skills or learning opportunities.... Give it time. It is ok. 2 years is baby steps. You will get there... You need to gain some confidence in yourself
  8. by   lorenwithano
    thank you so much for the kind words!
  9. by   MHSA LPN
    I learned a lot in LPN school, and I didn't expect to stop learning after school. If I'm unfamiliar or curious about something I research the topic. I have been working as an LPN for only 4 months and I am considering RN school.
  10. by   tokmom
    I was an LPN prior to my RN, and I can see a difference between my education and a local vocational school. In fact to get into the nearby RN programs the poor VoTech LPN's had to re take many classes because the RN program would not take them.
    My LPN program was really intense with two witches for instructors. You learned or you paid.
    I felt very prepared to be out on my own as an LPN. I think that is why the RN transistion wasn't difficult.

    Cut yourself some slack. Two years isn't all that long.
  11. by   demylenated
    I must say, your supervisor was an @$$ for saying that, too!!

    I do notice that LPN schools seem to be going toward the more skills approach and taking any kind of thinking or critical care out of the classroom. I think this is a huge disservice. I learned it all, quick paced... I was secure on the floor with my knowledge. I worked well with the RNs and they knew I could handle anything and everything they through at me. That is NOT to say I did NOT learn a heck of a lot more on the floor. I would have NEVER had that opportunity in a clinic. Maybe you can try some PRN agency or acute care time to dabble your feet in it. You will learn a LOT more.

    I've been in nursing for 12 years... I guarantee you I learn something new every. single. day!! The day you don't, in nursing, is the day to give it up - I think... (there are some exceptions - clinic is one - I've been a clinic nurse for 6 years and was terrified at going back for my ADN/BSN. I am doing better than I thought, but it is only because I had a great initial education and a fantastic acute care job for 5 years).

    Good luck
  12. by   demylenated
    Quote from tokmom
    My LPN program was really intense with two witches for instructors. You learned or you paid.
    OMG, were you at my school!!! HAHA!!!
  13. by   Orange Tree
    I'm an RN about two years out of school and I feel like I don't know anything, either. I am happy with my education, but it only created a foundation to build on.

    Don't ever let anyone make you feel dumb for questioning ANYTHING. The people who think they know everything are the dumb ones....or at least, the scary ones.
  14. by   RHIA, RN
    Quote from demylenated
    OMG, were you at my school!!! HAHA!!!
    That was my first thought too!

    For the OP, I know that med-surg isn't for everyone but maybe you should consider it. I did the two years that everyone harps about on med surg as soon as I got out of LPN school. I didn't feel that I was prepared most days, in fact, I left every day for six months crying by the time I made it to my truck. But that experience apparently taught me more that I realized at the time because having worked in LTC and family practice most recently it seems that I have more skills, confidence and understanding of quite a few things then my co-workers that don't have hospital experience. I am starting a bridge program next month and I'm a little anxious about heading back into the hospital for clinical but it has to be done. I keep telling myself that the hospital (med-surg) is where I received the best education.

    Good luck to you.