Quote from hanesjenny
When do you pick your specialty? I hope to start the LPN or RN (whichever I'm accepted to) this fall. Do you pick it when you do your clinicals? Is it on the NCLEX? I'm sorry, not too hip on all this yet. I have alot to learn!
Hi hanesjenny. RN & LPN programs educate you as a "generalist" nurse (can't think of a better term). RN programs will include courses in some specialty areas including pediatrics, psych/mental health nursing, OB and critical care, but at least at the ADN/BSN/diploma level, there aren't different degrees for specialty areas. If you have a strong interest in a specialty, you can try to seek out extra experiences in that area during clinicals, if that's possible, or try to work as a tech/aide in that department while you're in school.
I'm not familiar with additional credentials or certifications available to LPNs, but after initial licensure as an RN you could pursue certification in the specialty area of your choice - they are numerous, and can only help your marketability in the job market.
Graduation from a nursing program and licensure are two different things -- after graduation you'll apply to your state to take the NCLEX-PN (for LPNs) or NCLEX-RN. Passing this exam gets you licensed as a nurse in the state of your choice.
Hope this info helps a little -- good luck on getting accepted to the program of your choice!