Advice please? Path to RN

  1. Hi!

    I am starting school a little late (24 years old), and I am also a military spouse. I have no medical background or experience and my ultimate dream job is to work at either a Fertility clinic or an OB/GYN clinic. Recently, I visited a school in El Paso, TX where I had plans on starting their LPN program. However, the counselor I met with was worried that I would not do as well as the other students due to my lack of medical experience and suggested I start off with medical assistant instead. This would start off as a certification so I could get work, then I could finish the course and get my associates. I did not want to stop at LPN and had planned on pursuing RN and from that, eventually getting my BSN. I feel sort of at a loss now that the original plan I had feels as if it were thrown in the trash. I know some of the differences between MA and LPN and I have heard from different sources, including the counselor at the school, that LPN's are being phased out. I would like to work and gain experience while I am in school since I am married and want to bring in another income, but I ultimately want to do what is best for my career at this point. If anyone had any suggestions one what path I should take, or maybe even bring a new option to the table, that would be great. I want to hear from people who are already there. Thank you so much!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Wolf at the Door
    go to PA school.
  4. by   Buyer beware
    Erica, First thing's first. You are not old at all.
    And certainly not too old to start nursing school.
    Second thing. The counselor you spoke to is on psychodelics with emphasis on "psycho."
    I can only guess that her intentions are not honorable by steering towards the MA instead of a licensed LPN or RN tract.
    I will assume you are talking to a for-profit school advisor who sees in you a way to string you along to pilfer whatever post 911 GI benefits they can get their hands on. This is typical as the for-profits are incentivized to do so.
    The best most cost effective and benefit preserving route to go is to go to a community college and take the prerequisite courses towards becoming an RN. See how you do, take your time and have patience.
    And never listen to some crook who tells you you'd be better off as a non-lincensed MA so you can get "experience."
    Vets, don't let these people rob you of your valuable GI benefits because if you do they will gladly accommodate you.
    The for-profits have proven to be no friends of the military. Do a internet search on the subject and you might be quite taken aback to say the least.
    Last edit by Buyer beware on Dec 31, '16 : Reason: w
  5. by   datalore
    Go for the RN! You can work as a CNA after your first semester in many states, and you can gain experience that way. You don't need prior experience to succeed in nursing school, but some experience (even during school) can help you as a newly licensed RN looking for work or just in terms of confidence. Don't let someone talk you out of your goal because of lack of experience- that's what nursing school and clinicals are for!
  6. by   jaycam
    I'm surprised they suggested MA over CNA, as many programs prefer students with CNA experience
  7. by   Psych77
    Yea, work as a CNA while you are in nursing school or prior to. I did not do this and became an RN, ADN, but learning the basics was a bigger learning curve; the LPNs and paramedics in my class probably got way more out of the classes. In the medical world its a lot about experience.
  8. by   HouTx
    Agree with PP - commercial schools (for-profit, investor owned) are keen on maximizing revenues from student tuition, so they will always steer you in that direction. No matter what state you're in, the process of becoming an RN will involve taking some general education pre-requisite courses before you can begin any clinical training. Have you explored the local options for this? UTEP is part of the University of Texas system - they have well regarded, but highly competitive, BSN programs.

    FYI, in Texas & California, we have LVNs... all other states have LPNs.
  9. by   EricaYerian
    Sorry, I am from West Virginia and LVN is something I am trying to get used to!

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