LPN or Focus on PA School

  1. I am new here and I've been wanting to comment for a while! This website is so helpful!

    I am currently dying to go back to school but I am a bit lost. I haven't been enrolled in school in over 6 years and when I was last enrolled, I only did one semester. 6 years later, I am ready to get the show on the road and do my absolute best.

    My issue today is that I am unsure of what route to go down. I am 25 and currently working at a lab doing entry level work, no education needed. I miss working with customers, as I was always in customer service positions in every job I've had prior.

    I have been doing research for a few months now and I have come to fall in love with the medical field, particularly nursing and physician assistant programs.

    My question is, if I go to a vocational school for practical nursing now, and graduate in a year, would it be ideal to get back into college to work my way towards a degree as a PA? I know how long it will take and everything. I am asking Bc I know to get into the PA school of my interest, I would need patient/doctor hands on hours (I know I worded this poorly).

    How many of you started as an LPN and transitioned to a PA? Would it be smarter for me to skip the LPN route and go straight into my bachelors instead?

    I hope my questions aren't all over the place. I tried my best to break it down as least as possible. Thank you so much in advance.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 23
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  2. Visit Nyc327 profile page

    About Nyc327

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 7

    17 Comments

  3. by   lvnforschool
    I dont know where you are from, but in CA you have to have something like 2000 (working) hours to apply for a PA program. I had a good friend of mine, do LVN, and work so he could apply. That is alot of experience, and for a good reason.
  4. by   kaylee.
    If you want to be a pa, nursing is not the route, esp lpn. You will need a bachelors to get into pa but not necessarily hands on experience. Lpn will be a detour because even as an rn you are not able to transfer to pa.

    So lpn would be 1 year. Then you would have to do lpn to rn/bsn - 1-2 more years. Doesnt make sense to pursue a field with the goal of entirely different field- PA.

    Of course you could do np in this route, but if your goal is an advanced degree, then vocational degree doesnt make sense.

    Put the time in now to get a bachelors. It seems like you are unsure if you want to do clinical care, which makes nursing then np a good route.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Individual I knew obtained a BS in Human Biology before applying to a PA program. Look at the program requirements for PA programs and you will probably find that a degree in biology, chemistry, microbiology, or similar sciences is recommended but not required. Only requirement is to have the four year degree and to have completed the prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc. PA programs are usually masters level. However, there is a program in CO that is a certificate from a community college.
  6. by   203bravo
    Quote from kaylee.
    If you want to be a pa, nursing is not the route, esp lpn. You will need a bachelors to get into pa but not necessarily hands on experience. Lpn will be a detour because even as an rn you are not able to transfer to pa.

    So lpn would be 1 year. Then you would have to do lpn to rn/bsn - 1-2 more years. Doesnt make sense to pursue a field with the goal of entirely different field- PA.

    Of course you could do np in this route, but if your goal is an advanced degree, then vocational degree doesnt make sense.

    Put the time in now to get a bachelors. It seems like you are unsure if you want to do clinical care, which makes nursing then np a good route.
    I didn't read the post as the OP would be seeking a BSN degree prior to PA school.... He/she was asking if it would be a good investment to obtain the LPN to gain the required clinical experience for PA program while obtaining the Bachelor degree...

    Sounds like a good idea to me... LPN would be the quickest way to get into a clinical role and then have 4(ish) years of working experience prior to application to the PA program.
  7. by   Nyc327
    Thank you for your response. I am more interested in the diagnosis aspect of the PA route and finding the right treatment. You are right about the time frame definitely but my main concern was basically all of the PA programs in my area require hands on training in the medical field and unfortunately it isn't easy to get a position without any certification, which is why I was curious about the LPN route. It is also a pricey route. 26k to be exact for a 1-year program in my area.
  8. by   Nyc327
    Thank you for your response. I am definitely interested in majoring in one of the sciences. I am leaning towards biology since I'll get a lot of the prereqs out of the way without spending more money if I was majoring in something such as English, which is a huge concern for me since I am currently ineligiable for financial aid. Also, I am in the NJ area and looking to attend community college first since it is cheaper and then transfer to Rutgers University.
  9. by   Nyc327
    Thank you for your response. I was thinking LPN is definitely a good idea mainly for the experience but I am mostly concerned about the cost. 26k and I will be in school full time 9am-3pm for a year. The cost and time frame concerned me but from what I've researched about the vocational school is that credits can be transferred to my degree. I have to double check on that though Bc some credits will not transfer.
  10. by   Nyc327
    A helpful thing you pointed out is that I would have the 4 plus years of experience if I was to obtain the LPN certification. I didnt realize how much hands on experience I would have by the time I apply. Thank you for that.
  11. by   RainbowSprinkles
    26K is a lot of money for a lpn program. With the hours of 9-3 pm that leaves leave time to work a job for that year. Ive notice that you mention you want to save money by going to a community college, which I conclude you want to be smart with your money. That 26k will drain you financial aid and loan opportunities, that may be needed while obtaining a bachelors.
  12. by   Nyc327
    It's a huge investment and also that's a good point, I think it would definitely interfere with my financial aid especially once I transfer to a University. I was reading online about volunteer opportunities in hospitals but I'm not sure if that is something offered to someone with zero experience in the medical field. I've also tried applying to entry level positions in the hospital recently to at least get some sort of foot in the door.
  13. by   203bravo
    26k for an LPN would also make me double think that route as well unless LPNs in your area are making close to 30 bucks an hour.... Most volunteer positions in the hospitals that I am aware of do not allow you to get actual hands on medical experience that would be required for PA school.. you would want to double check this and find out from the programs that you are interested in the exact type of experience they may be looking for..

    In my area, PA schools do accept Paramedic experience for admission consideration.. that may be a cheaper option for you... may be worth checking out.
  14. by   Nyc327
    Thank you I'll look into the paramedic option in my area.

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