Discouraged Older Student

  1. I havent even begun my LPN program! Im still working on prereqs and working as an STNA in homecare. Full time LPN program begins in August, but I am rethinking my decision to become a nurse! I hear so much bickering and arguing about RN vs. LPN. I hear so much about how difficult it is to be a "new" nurse because there is no support from the more experienced in the field. Even as an aide in homecare I feel thrown to the wolves out here without nursing support and hear everyday about how this one is better than that one and how so and so is not a proper Christian or that the new nurse on the block is a Lesbian therefore to be shunned by the other nurses. When as an aide, I ask a question about a patient, I am literally sneered at and reminded that Im not a nurse yet! I could go on and on....... THIS is NOT why I decided to become a nurse!!!!!

    At 46, I guess I am quite naive. I only wanted to become the best LPN that I could. I want to work bedside, preferably in hospice which is where I feel I personally can do the most good. I knew my studies to become an LPN were just the begining and that I would need further experience, training and testing to become a certified hospice nurse. I have no desire to compete with RNs who have more training than I, but rather was looking forward to learning FROM them! One of the reasons I chose hospice was because I thought there would be more commaraderie and less ego nonsense going on.

    Even in classes its we "oldsters" who seem to really WANT our license and who run circles around the others at clinicals. We dont argue about fairness or break time or about having to change Mrs so and so AGAIN because we did it the last time! Yet at the LTC facility we trained at, it didnt seem to matter even to the staff that we were students and trying to learn not to mention that there were patients to be taken care of. Everyone seemed intent on being the "best" or being in charge and arguing even in front of the residents.

    PLEASE someone tell me that all facilities are not like this! I am looking for steady long term employment in a facility where I can learn and grow. I want to be part of a team whos main objective is the patients we care for. I am too old for the games and nonsense. Is there a place out there for me where its OK to be "just" an LPN? I think its great that most choose to go on for their RN and they are to be commended for it, but LPN s are an important part of the team too, right?

    Any feedback or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   crb613
    Quote from ChristinaV
    I havent even begun my LPN program! Im still working on prereqs and working as an STNA in homecare. Full time LPN program begins in August, but I am rethinking my decision to become a nurse! I hear so much bickering and arguing about RN vs. LPN. I hear so much about how difficult it is to be a "new" nurse because there is no support from the more experienced in the field. Even as an aide in homecare I feel thrown to the wolves out here without nursing support and hear everyday about how this one is better than that one and how so and so is not a proper Christian or that the new nurse on the block is a Lesbian therefore to be shunned by the other nurses. When as an aide, I ask a question about a patient, I am literally sneered at and reminded that Im not a nurse yet! I could go on and on....... THIS is NOT why I decided to become a nurse!!!!!

    At 46, I guess I am quite naive. I only wanted to become the best LPN that I could. I want to work bedside, preferably in hospice which is where I feel I personally can do the most good. I knew my studies to become an LPN were just the begining and that I would need further experience, training and testing to become a certified hospice nurse. I have no desire to compete with RNs who have more training than I, but rather was looking forward to learning FROM them! One of the reasons I chose hospice was because I thought there would be more commaraderie and less ego nonsense going on.

    Even in classes its we "oldsters" who seem to really WANT our license and who run circles around the others at clinicals. We dont argue about fairness or break time or about having to change Mrs so and so AGAIN because we did it the last time! Yet at the LTC facility we trained at, it didnt seem to matter even to the staff that we were students and trying to learn not to mention that there were patients to be taken care of. Everyone seemed intent on being the "best" or being in charge and arguing even in front of the residents.

    PLEASE someone tell me that all facilities are not like this! I am looking for steady long term employment in a facility where I can learn and grow. I want to be part of a team whos main objective is the patients we care for. I am too old for the games and nonsense. Is there a place out there for me where its OK to be "just" an LPN? I think its great that most choose to go on for their RN and they are to be commended for it, but LPN s are an important part of the team too, right?

    Any feedback or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    I too am a "oldster" & will graduate with my ADN (Lord willing) in ~9mos. Regardless of where you go or the job you do, you will deal with ego's & personality pros & cons. If we let negative attitudes make decisions for us then most of us would be hiding under the bed. I made a decision to become a nurse & the way I see it is... If I want to see changes, then I will start with me. As long as I am happy with the choices I make titles don't mean squat to me. Good luck to you with your decision.
  4. by   LesaRNdreams
    Don't be discouraged, keep your head up and go forward. First of all, life isn't fair. I'm a student too and have had a set back, but I'm not letting it stop me. Think about what you want. Nursing is something that demands your whole being. You have to love it and have the desire. Don't do it for money because you won't be happy. I know a lot of RNs look down at LPNs. Some of them think they are not as smart and shouldn't be working along side them. This is not true!!! The reason to pursue an RN is because a lot of hospitals are doing away with LPNs. I know for a fact of a hospital in NJ that gave their LPNs pink slips. LPNs are generally used in LTC facilities and doctors offices (cheaper labor). You have a couple of months before your class starts. Really take the time to think about it. It's not something to jump into lightly. Your studies will demand all of your time and full attention. If you're going to do it, do it because you love it and know that you will make a difference!!!
  5. by   Fiona59
    Only you can make yourself "just" an LPN. How you are treated on the job reflects on how you approach the job. Several other posters have said that LPN should stand for Licensed PROFESSIONAL Nurse.

    Yes, the training is different between RN and LPN, but the vast majority of LPN's are not intellectually challenged.

    Many chose to be LPN's because of finances, long waitlists at local RN programmes, they only wanted to be in school for four semesters. Everybody chooses for a different reason.

    Do some research before you go to school. Find out where LPNs work in your area. I found the workload in LTC depressing but active treatment is a different world. Fewer patients, less hassle from families and you get to do the majority of the skills you were trained to do.

    I'm happy being an LPN, had thought about doing the RN bridge, but I don't want to go back to school for three years. I have no desire to try and figure out how to manage my student loans and my teenagers student loans, (I would be in fourth year and he would be in first). I also don't want to loose my income, deal with student bickering again, I want to finish a shift come home and work on my English Lit material. Yup, I'm doing a degree, but not in nursing...
  6. by   luvbug
    I have to tend to agree with the people who wrote that you do have to be in it more for the Caring aspect than the money. First, money isn't everything. You can really love your job and make a salary comparable to someone in the fast-food business, yet be completely happy. Or, you can be on the other end of the spectrum where you make a ton of money in a job you don't care for, and then you grow to resent everything about the job. I personally went to the LPN program first because I knew I would be able to work for some time and get some experience under my belt before I thought about the RN part. I also know quite a few people who didn't start nursing school until they were in their 30s or 40s. sometimes you just need a change of pace. As far as the bickering goes, it seems classic of immature people. I used to run into the same thing when I was working as a nurses aide. People who hadn't been employed as long as I had would take it upon themselves to let residents sit in soiled beds/pads simply because they were too lazy to take care of it themselves. Those aides would sure take the time to tell me what all had to be done and on whom, but would never just do it. those are the things, though, that tell you what kind of person and employee they really are. from what it sounds like, you are a good, honest worker and that will get you twice as far. You will have positive recommendations from your intructors as well as any future employers. Remember, follow your heart and do what is right for you.
  7. by   ChristinaV
    Thank you all so very much for your replies! I am taking every word to heart. Someone had mentioned that if we want to see changes, it should begin with me, .......... I am going to see what I can do with that! If all I can change is my own attitude, I will be the better for it!
    I have a terminally ill woman close to my age that I care for 6 days a week who is continually dropping little pearls of wisdom in my lap just when I seem to most need them. I have not discussed my doubts with her about becoming a nurse, as she is one of my biggest supporters, however after a nursing visit today, she brought up how different our new nurse is compared to the one we had that wouldnt even make eye contact with her patient. She said, "christina, there are good nurses who really care, and there are those who are probably only doing it for the money who are not very good" Then she told me again how grateful she was for the difference Ive made in her life and that I was going to make a good nurse. THATS what its all about. I am feeling better and do have to accept that there are all kinds of people in this world. My job will be to become the best nurse that I can and learn as I go. My thanks to you all!
  8. by   Tweety
    Good luck. Sounds dreadful. Don't be discouraged though, don't allow anyone to destroy your dreams. It's not like that everywhere and we need nurses like you out there.

    Good luck.
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    Christina, don't give up! Like you, I'm 46, and although I've been a nurse for a while now (8 years) I remember what it was like being a student. First it was CNA classes, where they wanted me to be able to run as fast, lift as much weight, and care for as many residents as people two decades younger than myself; then college where I was doing projects with kids who had no concept of what it was like out there in the real world and relied on the one grown-up in the group to do all the legwork, and then nursing school where expectations were higher for us older students, regardless of how much actual nursing experience we had.

    I made it through all of that, and so will you if you take the attitude, "If it's to be, it's up to me". Don't let the immaturity of some of your co-workers, or even some of your supervisors, get in the way of what you want. If you want to be a nurse, be a nurse..........no one can stop you but YOU.

    Best of luck to you!
  10. by   grammyr
    Not all nurses are that way. Please don't judge all by the actions of a few. I, too was an older student, graduating from nursing school just after my 40th birthday. The advisor I was assigned before beginning school tried to discourage me from even enrolling in prereqs. If I had listened to him, I would be working at the local discount store and would have never had the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do.

    You will never be just an lpn unless you want it that way. The best education I got about being a nurse came from an LPN. We can't do the job without each other.

    Good Luck!!!!
  11. by   BabyRN2Be
    As Grammy said, not all RN's are that way. Just last night I attended a doula conference by an RN who was a lactation consultant for a NICU. She was an awesome lady! She said that they had an LPN in NICU who could run circles around some of the RN's in that place.

    Just hang in there and show 'em what you're worth! You will gain respect by your actions and work.

    Good luck to you!
  12. by   HappyNurse2005
    Even in classes its we "oldsters" who seem to really WANT our license and who run circles around the others at clinicals.
    First of all, just because I am a 23 year old graduating from ADN program in 1 month, doesn't mean I dont really want my license as much as the older students, etc etc. THat just bugged me, sorry.

    BUT, in this ADN class that is ending this month, we have a 60 year old man, a 55 year old woman, a 54 year old woman, several in their 40s. YOU are certainly not too old to be a nurse, don't let that stop you! Don't let anyone tell you that you are too old to do it if you want to.
  13. by   ChristinaV
    To RNinMay2005. I certainly didnt mean to offend you, please accept my apology AND my congratulations! You are absolutely right, my post sounded like a gross generalization of all young people and that certainly was not correct nor my intention. My best wishes are with you!!!!
  14. by   galaxy781
    Christina,

    First let me start off by congratulating you!!! Congrats for knowing what you want and not being afraid to go out and get it, it sounds like to me that you have more compassion in your little finger than all those nurses you spoke of.

    Nurses like those you described in my opinion should not be allowed to work in the field! Its no one elses business who does what with who or who has more education, it is so silly, we are all health care professionals (stress the word professional) and we are all there for one thing only: to provide the best possible patient care! I never talk about religion or politics at work, its just poor judgement and extremely unprofessional not to mention NO ONE ELSES BUSINESS! If a nurse snaps at you for asking a question about a patient maybe you can politely remind her that you have the patients best intersts in mind! Im so sorry that you have to deal with people that ignorant!

    I am 24 and entering an MN program this month! I am also a CNA and have worked/grew up in the hospitals in my city, I used to go with my mom to work and volunteer at the hospital she worked for, she has worked there since I was 7 and still works there! I can say at that hospital for the most part the nurses are supportive and provide a good work environment! dont get discouraged you will find your niche, not all nurses are like those but unfort we all run into those types at some point in our career!

close