I need help making a decision....HELP!!!!

  1. I have been an LPN for 9 years and currently am working in LTC as an MDS/Resident care coordinator.

    I have slowly been plugging away at pre-reqs for an RN program, however attended an informational seminar yesterday for a program and they stated that you can forget working full time if you take an RN program.

    I have 2 in college, and another one going shortly and cannot afford to give up my current job, nor do I want to. I love it....

    I am thinking about Excelsior, going through Chancellors. I did this before and got out of my contract earlier because I wasn't disciplined enough. I am now in a position that I am determined to be an RN just because I want that title. I am tired of telling people, "I'm just an LPN". :angryfire People that I work with tell me that they think I am an excellent LPN and I should do this.

    Another obstacle, is that working in LTC I do not have any exposure really to any clinical experiences. We don't have alot in the way of tx's, IV's, etc. and also I am in an administrative position and have my own office. I do sometimes pick up a shift on the floor because I love the patients, but again not much to do except give meds....

    I need your input, should I do this. The only thing that is really holding me back is the WEEKEND CLINICAL. Just the thought of that right now makes me sick.:uhoh21:

    Please let me know what you would do.....
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Broombug
    Hello, MDSlady.

    I managed to complete the Excelsior program with 2 sons in college. I worked a full-time job (3 12-hour shifts) and a prn job(1 12-hour shift every other week) as a Respiratory Therapist in order to accomplish this.

    I used Chancellor study guides but I could only afford to buy them used off of ebay along with my textbooks. I also used help files from a few yahoo study groups.

    I didnt have access to clinical experience outside of being an RT. So, in preparation for the CPNE I studied the clinical elements until I could recite them forwards and backwards. I also set up a practice lab in my dinning room with the skills bag I bought from Excelsior. I used a large stuffed animal as my patient. During down time at work, I would practice care plans on random patients in the hospital. Workshops are available but I couldnt afford to go. Even so, I passed the CPNE on the first try in Amarillo, Texas. It was stressful, but I found it straight forward to how Excelsior described it in the study guide and video you get from them.

    From start to finish it took me about 22 monthes. Not very fast, but I wasnt trying to break any records.

    I would advise you to go for it and stay motivated.
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    check with your local college for anything that you can do evenings..
    there are numerous opportunities for full time rn so that should not be a problem
    there is always a way if you are determined to make it happen
  5. by   MDSlady
    This program that I checked into is an evening program. Monday-Thursday 4p-10p. My job is pretty flexible in that I can cut down to 32 hours a week and I think my DNS would be pretty good with this, however, I would have to make sure that I am there during most days because of wound, weight meetings, morning report and my care conferences on Wednsdays. I am just very torn if I should do the on-line classes or forget it. I feel that I could do the on-line classes, but that weekend thing just might put me over the edge. The other nurse that I work with (an RN) feels that I'm not giving myself enough credit. I just don't know what to do.
  6. by   Mudwoman
    The skills you need for the CPNE are the same ones you had to be checked off on to go to the floor for clinicals in LPN/LVN school. Add the care plans and charting and you have it. You can do this. It would sure be easier on your schedule.
  7. by   jonesLL
    I have been an LVN for 16 years and work on a critical care unit. I work with a great group of nurses but continue to feel like less than a professional by others in the community. I am going through College Network/Indiana State/Sonoma University online program. My co-workers keep me grounded and focused. There are some great LVNs out their who have taken their lic. to it full potential. Thank goodness I work on a unit with Nurses who judge you by your performance and how you work as a team. LLJones
  8. by   bellcollector
    I highly recommend excelsior. There are NO weekend clinicals and as others have said the skills you test off on in the single weekend CPNE at the end of the program are the same ones you had as an LPN except IV ggt rate and IVPB. Patient cares and care plans are nothing you can't handle. I think you should go for it. You already have the office job having an RN will only help in that aspect and no more "I am just an LPN" definately go for it. JMO
  9. by   nurse1717
    Hi MDSlady,
    It can and has been done. I've 3 childent alone. Taken me about 5 years (almost done-probably by the summer) but I moved 4 times (to another state x 1) and juggled jobs the whole time, and even purchased a place 2 years ago!
    I too couldn't afford to stop working. Per diem might also be an option. Also, an LTAC facility might work for you--more experience in clinicals, per diem pays a bit more (you need to get medical/dental coverage though). Working at this type of facility for 6 months-1yr. (full time would be best as your skills improve dramatically with regular practice) will help you prepare for the exam. Hope this helps. Let me know if you'd like more!
  10. by   QTMedic4life
    I say if you don't have a plan on moving to California ECE is the way to go. I would be 100% no doubt in my mind doing ECE if I didn't have the potential risk of moving back to California. So that is my $.02 take what you want and leave the rest.

    ~Azari~
  11. by   RN34TX
    Quote from MDSlady
    I am tired of telling people, "I'm just an LPN". :angryfire
    First of all, that needs to stop right here and now.
    The advice given by others has been excellent so I only wanted to break in and comment on the "I'm just an LPN" stuff.

    LPN school was the hardest thing I ever attempted and succeeded at.
    Getting my RN was the smartest decision I ever made after being an LPN, yet not the hardest thing I ever attempted.
    Get where I'm going?

    People with bachelors degrees in other fields failed out in my LPN program, so please stop saying "I'm just an LPN" to anyone in the future because it's a pretty hard title and license to earn and I personally have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into becoming an LPN in the first place.

    You have accomplished a lot already at this point in your nursing career.
    But at the same time, I understand why you want your RN.
    I was the same way, so yes you need to get your RN for your own reasons.

    I just don't want to see any LPN discounting what they already have.
  12. by   caliotter3
    You stated that you have avail to you a program that goes from 4-10pm and your boss is good with you leaving work early enough for school. My advice is to go with this. You can do it. Keep Excelsior in mind for Plan B. It is also doable, but you are already stressing yourself needlessly about the CPNE from things you have heard from others. This is unnecessary worry. Another post in another thread said something like study (i.e. preparation) for the CPNE is better than worry. If it were me, I would take the evening program. Only go Excelsior if the evening program does not work out. And there is no reason for it not to work. Positive thinking!!

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