LPN- RN or straight to RN? (Cleveland market)

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    I am getting STNA certified and then going back to school for nursing. My question is- for those who know the Ohio job climate- would it make much difference (as far as job availability etc.) as to whether I get my LPN first (which is cheaper and shorter time to obtain) or whether I go straight through to get my RN? (Which takes longer and is more expensive.) Are there any other local (or general) considerations as to which would be preferrable? Also- is there a big difference in the Cleveland area as to which nursing school one does attend? I see alot of great schools, but alot seem to be days or uber expensive or further than I'd prefer to travel. Is an LPN from, say, Tri-C viewed as just as desireable by employers as an LPN from, say, Case Western?

    Just looking at the local big picture so I can decide how to proceed. I'm at the very beginning of this journey, my STNA class starts next month, so I'm really not at all familiar with the local climate yet. If anyone has any tips, advice etc. it would be greatly appreciated Thanks so much!
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

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    I work at a Cleveland Clinic hospital, and i definitely think going straight for the RN is the way to go. Alot of hospitals are hiring less and less LPN's. I think the main campus got rid of all of their LPN's. Every LPN on my unit is in school to get their RN's.
    Hope this helps.
    Equinox_93 likes this.
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    Thanks so much!
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    I think the decision between LPN and RN really has to be based on YOUR scenario and what is best for you.

    If you are getting your STNA first, you might have a decent income and a flexible work schedule to get you through nursing school. Is it in your best interest to go right into an LPN program and get to work as a nurse, making a nurse's wage, and then go back for your RN?

    Anyone who says that it is a waste of time to get the LPN first is really just plain uninformed, honestly. There are bridge programs that will give you an accelerated standing in a RN program after you complete your LPN, so the time spent in LPN school is not wasted. You really need to speak with some academic counselors and see how long it will take you to complete the RN vs. the LPN, what prerequisites you need to take, etc., and then make your decision based on those facts.

    I transitioned into nursing from another career. I have a bachelor's degree in a non-healthcare field. I still chose to start off as an LPN. I got a job right out of school working 3 days a week (fulltime) and making $23/hour. I'm in a perfect place to continue on for my RN because I'm making excellent money, have a work schedule that will allow me to go back to school, and have access to tuition assistance from my employer to get my RN. It's win-win any way you look at it.

    Also - while alot of hospitals in Cleveland are not hiring LPN's, the rumor that Cleveland Clinic has done away with their LPNs is untrue. Three of my classmates from LPN school were just hired at the main campus in the last month, one even on a specialty floor (neuro). I'm entertaining a part-time offer there to supplement my full-time job elsewhere. Competition in hospitals is stiffer, but there ARE jobs to be had out there. And jobs in long-term, homecare, offices, etc, are readily available - every single one of my close to 40 classmates that have been seriously trying to find work have gotten jobs since we graduated in october.

    If you decide to go the LPN route, look into Central School of Practical Nursing in downtown cleveland. They are HIGHLY regarded, and I can tell you first hand that the education was far superior to the other programs I've seen. They tell you over and over about how well thought of their program is by area hospitals and facilities, and at first it sounds like hype. But I can tell you first hand that I've gotten interviews and job offers based on the fact that I'm a central grad. At my facility, I was introduced to the rest of the staff as a central grad....they all ooo'd and ahh'd and were impressed. They're aren't kidding about the reputation, and it's well deserved. It's a tough school with tough standards, but when you get out you'll be an excellent nurse.

    Really think about what YOU want out of your choices, and what's best for YOUR circumstances. Look into ALL your options, and don't listen to the nay-sayers....many of them are not well informed. Good luck!!!!
    nurse4forever, amp83, and Equinox_93 like this.
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    For the Cleveland markets, LPN's are pretty limited to nursing homes/LTC facilities, as a general rule of thumb. Getting into Cleveland Clinic (which owns half of hospitals in Cleveland) will be very rough. Getting into University Hosp (which owns the other half) is just about impossible. I would say go for your RN and if you can BSN!
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    Quote from ohwerehalfwaythere
    For the Cleveland markets, LPN's are pretty limited to nursing homes/LTC facilities, as a general rule of thumb. Getting into Cleveland Clinic (which owns half of hospitals in Cleveland) will be very rough. Getting into University Hosp (which owns the other half) is just about impossible. I would say go for your RN and if you can BSN!
    I'm wondering (and I'm LEGITIMATELY wondering, I'm not just saying this to be snarky or argumentative ) what experiences you have that prompt that statement, and how recent those experiences are.

    I say this because I'm a recent grad LPN and I've seen many more hospital positions for LPN's then I expected here in the cleveland market - again, including several at CCF main campus. I agree, there are far MORE positions in LTC, but my experiences in the last few months would argue that your statement about "LPN's being limited" to LTC, on the whole, is untrue.
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    I can tell you first hand that CC has not gotten rid of any LPN's are are actively hiring LPN's even on specialty floors. I am a new grad LPN without any medical experience and I was just offered a position on Friday. I attended their Nursing Job Fair. There were several positions open. A classmate of mine was also hired there. I am going right to the RN program, as they offer many benefits...you can even obtain clinical hours while working.....and they pick up a lot of the cost if you agree to work for them for a few years.
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    I chose to go for LPN first. It's easier, faster, and usually cheaper. Just make sure that you find a good school, whatever path you choose. Talk to people in the programs you are looking into before deciding to attend.


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