I need advice...please!

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    I started back to school fall 2011 to start my pre-req's to get into a nursing program. I was thinking ADN but wasn't 100% sure. Then I got my CNA over winter break and I really enjoyed that. I am still taking pre-req's this semester. I was tired of being told how hard it is to get into nursing school and how competitive it is. I decided to get into a LPN program. I took my TEAS and got accepted into a program. Meanwhile, I am trying to find work as a CNA (preferrably in a hospital since that is my ultimate goal). I figure I can do the LPN program (Aug-June) then do a LPN-RN bridge (Aug-May) and then get my BSN while I work as an RN. But in 2 years I would have my RN.

    I go for a CNA job interview today and the nursing supervisor tells me that hospitals are moving away at hiring RN's without BSN's. So, do I forget the LPN thing and just keep going with my pre-req's and get into a BSN program? What do you nurses think? I still have Microbiology, College Algebra and Statistics to take. Then I should be ready to go. Is it going to be longer to go the BSN route? Will it cost me more or less?

    The thing is I have to have my deposit in to the LPN program by 4/19/12 so I am really stressing out! I am almost 40 years old so I don't want to be in school forever. I live in Missouri in case anyone wants to know that. Thanks for any and all input!
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

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    Honestly, I've never really understood the appeal of getting an LPN degree and immediately bridging to an RN. Why? First, it's not always possible to do it in two years. Yes, you can do the LPN program in one year, but then you have to apply for a license, pay the fee, schedule your NCLEX, pay the fee, pass the NCLEX, and get your license. Then you can apply for LPN bridge programs. You can't apply for the bridge until you have your LPN. So if you get your LPN in June, it might be August before you get your license and can even apply to programs, so you're not likely to be able to start the bridge program in August, like you think you can.

    Furthermore, bridge programs are usually pretty busy. Do you plan on working as an LPN during that time? Then you better find a place that's willing to hire you knowing you'll only be there for a short time, and willing to work around your school schedule. Much easier said than done, and you might find yourself finishing the bridge program having never worked as an LPN. What's the point?

    You also have to consider your area. Some states do not hire LPN's for hospital positions and the primary job openings for LPN's are in nursing homes and outpatient areas. Also, the nursing supervisor is probably right, especially if she works for a hospital. Most big hospitals want RN's with a BSN degree. So you may very well be less likely to get hired if you do not have an BSN (or even an ADN). On the other hand, if hospitals near you hire LPN's, then you might want to get your LPN, work for a few years to gain experience and then bridge. I don't suggest doing it back to back, for the reasons above.

    If you really want your RN in two years, then the best thing to do is go to a community college for two years and get your ADN. It won't make you as hirable as a BSN, but it's better than a bridge program, in my opinion. Then you can do an RN to BSN program after you have worked and saved some money.
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    If working in a hospital is your ultimate goal, I don't suggest going for an LPN first. I don't know about your state, but in my area, LPNs are non-existent in hospitals these days. The ones that are still around in the community hospitals have been grandfathered in. I just left my hospital job that I'd been at for nearly 5 years and I never once saw an LPN in that hospital during those 5 years. If the nursing supervisor told you the hospital is moving away from hiring non-BSN RNs, I'd doubt they're hiring LPNs either.

    The way you describe this is awfully ambitious. As Ashley said, you need to have your LPN in order to be able to apply for the LPN-RN bridge and if you don't finish school until June, it's possible, maybe even probable, that you wouldn't make the deadline to apply for an August program. That, and when I look up these programs, at least in my state, LPNs apply for 2nd semester standing in a traditional ADN program... so you wouldn't be able to get your RN in 2 semesters. Programs may be different in your state, I was a BSN student straight out of high school so my knowledge of these programs is limited.

    If you know your ultimate goal is to be an RN, why not just go for the RN straightaway? Working full-time as an LPN will be difficult while doing a full-time bridge program. I just looked up some of the programs in my state and they are accepting applications for Fall 2013 right now...

    There are a lot of things to consider. What is the job market like for LPNs in your area? In my area, LPNs generally work in doctor's offices, nursing homes or doing private duty nursing. Would it be worth it to do all of this if your ultimate goal is to work in a hospital? It may end up being better to work as a CNA in a hospital and demonstrate your work ethic. If you complete your RN while working on that floor and they know you're a good worker, they'd be more likely to hire you. The time and money you'd spend to get your LPN could be put towards an RN program, IMO.
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    I understand your frustration in not knowing which decision is the right one to make. I've been there! I graduated from an ADN program in 2009 and am currently in my last semester of an online RN-BSN program. I am struggling with which masters program I want now. I can tell you that if you only have those last 3 classes before you can get into an ADN program, go for it. You can have your RN in 2 years, then bridge to a BSN or MSN depending on how far you want to take your education. I wouldn't waste the time on an LPN. Most hospitals are not hiring LPN's anymore. It is true that there is a push for all RN's to have a BSN in the hospital arena, so it is wise to get this sooner than later. Generally speaking, BSN programs are 4 years, so it will take you longer and cost more. Going the route I did (ADN-RN-BSN) gets you working as an RN sooner. An online RN-BSN is completely do-able while working full time in the field and running a house, you just keep your eye focused on the end goal and keep trudging along. It's not easy, but it can be done. Good Luck!


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