Clinical Laboratory Scientist or RN

  1. Hello everyone,

    I would like someone to give me a direct answer and not "what the schools want to tell you" answer. I am taking my pre-reqs for RN school here in CA, but due to the lottery here in the Central Valley, I am getting a little discouraged. I already have an AS degree as a Medical Assistant and worked in that field for several years. Even though I liked doing that type of work, I realized I liked the paper side of it and not so much the patient side. I LOVE drawing blood and running basic lab test and wonder if I should consider CLS rather than RN??

    I dont want to be too bored and I have heard that CLS can get borning, but so can any job right? Are there any fellow CLS and RN students here that can help me with this decision?

    I also heard the job outlook for CLS's are great and rising which is nice to hear as well. If after I get a BS in CLS, is there another field that I can go into if I do get bored that doesnt require a compacted program?

  2. Visit misspinkmeow profile page

    About misspinkmeow

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 69; Likes: 5
    Nursing Student; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   angelics2u
    I am in the same situation as you! Im looking into National University's RN program or CLS Bachelors prgram!!!
  4. by   Laboratorian
    Well lucky that you live in Cali. California has some of the highest paid CLS in the nation + a union.
    I've never worked in corelab so my opinion is biased (everyone thinks the machines do all the work).
    If you can specialize and work in microbiology you will see something new every day.

    If you live in any other state I would tell the that the pay can vary greatly. There are labs that are paying 4 year BS degree holding CLS less than $16 and you have some that will start off $20+.

    Not everyone is made to be a nurse. If you are 100% positive that you would hate patient interaction CLS is the way to go.
  5. by   sbostonRN
    I worked as a Medical Technologist for 5 years before becoming an RN. It was interesting but my degree was in Biology so I didn't have any options for mobility between hospitals/labs unless I wanted to go back to school. That's why I chose nursing. Working in a lab was interesting and you really contribute to patient care, although you don't have the direct contact with patients in many hospitals (some hospitals have the techs draw blood but mine had a whole separate department of phlebotomists). The pay is really good too. When I left I was making $25/hr which is about what starting RNs make. The salary ceiling is not as high as the RN career, but you can definitely make a decent living on a fairly low-stress job.
  6. by   itsmerae
    after being an LVN for a few years i have decided not to do RN and go for CLS. i think it suits my personality much better than nursing. Its more schooling! especially since i already have my LVN but i want to go for it. i think it really depends on what kind of work you enjoy, most nursing in my eyes is high stress and busy busy busy....i hate making mistakes and in nursing that is often how you learn but it can eat a person alive and lower confidence to extremes! its not for everyone. i wish i didnt overthink things but i generally do. CLS is more behind the scenes working alone no hands on care, just on the science specimen side of healthcare.
  7. by   GOODMED
    My kid/We is thinking CLS as a backup option if she cannot get in this fall 15 after one semester of waiting. I think CLS option is very interesting and very rewarding financially and professionally. After getting a CLS degree, one can always go back for entry level master degree in nursing via CSUs, or PA school after 2000-3000 hours of healthcare experience (which is CLS). I need my kid to start making good $$ after graduation, not no low paying job. Hopefully after this long wait and lots of crazy applications submissions, she will get in some where in SOCAL.