Jump to content

Anyone successfully challenge the boards?

I have a degree in respiratory therapy, yet am having a hard time finding a job. I am working as a cna, going on my 7th year and I was hoping rt would be my next step up....unfortunately it's not working that way and I am considering challenging the boards via method 3.

Has anyone successfully done this? What tips do you have?

Jensmom7, BSN, RN

Has 36 years experience. Specializes in Hospice.

Don't you have to graduate from a nursing program before you can get your ATT (Authorization to Test)?

Not sure how being a respiratory therapist and working as a CNA qualifies as nursing training.

sailornurse

Has 39 years experience. Specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care.

What is method three? In most states you have to complete and graduate from an accredited nursing program you can not challenge NCLEX for RN.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

Have you thought of relocating as an RT? There are jobs in Indiana.

I have two small children that I share custody of so no, relocation is not an option. This is why I am very disappointed that I am having a hard time using my degree here.

A cna with certain experience or education background can qualify to test in California. It's called method 3. It's on the board website with all the information.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

The California BVNPT allows CNAs with 54 months of a specified experiential background to challenge the board to become an LVN. Therefore, one does not need to graduate from an approved program to become an LVN in California. I wrote about the process several years ago:

https://allnurses.com/california-nursing/challenging-the-boards-763569.html

That's actually really scary.

Not when you consider situations like mine where I have a degree in Healthcare and have worked in it for years, taken many extremely (if not identical) courses, and have met requirements set by the state. It's not a brand new cna sitting to try their luck at the test....

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

A "degree in healthcare" is not a nursing degree! Me thinks there are many things about being a nurse that you did not learn while obtaining your rt degree

Not when you consider situations like mine where I have a degree in Healthcare and have worked in it for years, taken many extremely (if not identical) courses, and have met requirements set by the state. It's not a brand new cna sitting to try their luck at the test....

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

Not when you consider situations like mine where I have a degree in Healthcare and have worked in it for years, taken many extremely (if not identical) courses, and have met requirements set by the state. It's not a brand new cna sitting to try their luck at the test....

How is working as a RT & a CNA anywhere near replacement for what you would learn in class or clinicals? Honestly, it's a slap in the face to me. I busted my ass in school & now because you worked as a CNA you can take the NCLEX?!

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

In Florida, you can challenge the NCLEX

This is what is says on the FL BON:

"Applicants who have successfully completed courses, equivalent to practical nursing education in a professional nursing program, may qualify for NCLEX-PN based on practical nursing equivalency (PNEQ). All professional courses (RN) taken must have been successfully completed with a grade of C” or better and must have included theory and clinical instruction."

Completely different than the CA BON challenge rules.

Basically what the FL BON is saying is if you are in an RN program & complete enough credits you can challenge the BON to take the LVN NCLEX. What the CA BON says is if you are a CNA for long enough you can challenge the BON to become an LVN, with *no* schooling what so ever.

@lilfrankenstein, do you have knowledge on the full spectrum of medication classifications? Most of the RTs that I know have knowledge of pulmonary and cardivascular medications, but their theoretical knowledge of all of the other classifications is inadequate to safely administer medications. Are their medication courses for people in your situation?

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

I've got a few thoughts on the topic that I think could genuinely be of some help:

1. Most importantly, I don't think that your chances of employment would increase significantly by getting your LPN via a challenge. In CA, it can take a new grad BSN months or even years to get a job. Most hospitals prefer a BSN at minimum, and many facilities are phasing out the LPN role altogether (although this may be different in community health/LTC settings). Meanwhile, despite your RT background, as an LPN exam challenger your application would probably be at the bottom of the barrel in comparison to all of the other LPNs with formal training, competing for a diminishing number of jobs in a very saturated market. As you have probably noticed, nurses can be very proud (and protective) of their credentials, and you may find that hiring managers have the same response to the LPN challenge as the people on this forum.

2. I think the NCLEX would be very difficult to pass without formal nursing education. The NCLEX is notorious for framing questions in a very confusing way (i.e. 'every answer is correct, but which is the most correct'), so it takes a lot of practice with prioritization from a nursing perspective. I honestly don't know that you could learn it from a book. Furthermore, much of the emphasis on the NCLEX (and in nursing school in general) is on diabetes and heart disease (although respiratory is a close third). Meanwhile, the topics are as far flung as random psych conditions, to the softness of a woman's uterus in the postpartum period, to random skills-based questions (i.e. if you're drawing up two different types of insulin from different vials into the same syringe, do you draw up the intermediate-acting or short-acting first?) Tons of people study this stuff full-time for years in nursing school and still don't pass.

3. Finally, I'm sorry that everybody is piling on you for the RT/CNA to RN concept. I work in ICU and have the highest respect for RTs. They are truly amazing at what they do, and I couldn't do my job without them. There are tons of things they know about blood gasses, xray interpretation, vent settings, etc. that I never will. But on the flip side, nurses know a lot of things that RTs don't. I would feel really uncomfortable having somebody working as my RT who had not been trained as an RT, which I think is the concern that a lot of nurses are expressing here.

Best of luck on your job hunt. It sounds like a really frustrating situation.

DowntheRiver

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology.

By far I think this is the most level-headed and well thought out response to your question. Listen to their advice.

I've got a few thoughts on the topic that I think could genuinely be of some help:

1. Most importantly, I don't think that your chances of employment would increase significantly by getting your LPN via a challenge. In CA, it can take a new grad BSN months or even years to get a job. Most hospitals prefer a BSN at minimum, and many facilities are phasing out the LPN role altogether (although this may be different in community health/LTC settings). Meanwhile, despite your RT background, as an LPN exam challenger your application would probably be at the bottom of the barrel in comparison to all of the other LPNs with formal training, competing for a diminishing number of jobs in a very saturated market. As you have probably noticed, nurses can be very proud (and protective) of their credentials, and you may find that hiring managers have the same response to the LPN challenge as the people on this forum.

2. I think the NCLEX would be very difficult to pass without formal nursing education. The NCLEX is notorious for framing questions in a very confusing way (i.e. 'every answer is correct, but which is the most correct'), so it takes a lot of practice with prioritization from a nursing perspective. I honestly don't know that you could learn it from a book. Furthermore, much of the emphasis on the NCLEX (and in nursing school in general) is on diabetes and heart disease (although respiratory is a close third). Meanwhile, the topics are as far flung as random psych conditions, to the softness of a woman's uterus in the postpartum period, to random skills-based questions (i.e. if you're drawing up two different types of insulin from different vials into the same syringe, do you draw up the intermediate-acting or short-acting first?) Tons of people study this stuff full-time for years in nursing school and still don't pass.

3. Finally, I'm sorry that everybody is piling on you for the RT/CNA to RN concept. I work in ICU and have the highest respect for RTs. They are truly amazing at what they do, and I couldn't do my job without them. There are tons of things they know about blood gasses, xray interpretation, vent settings, etc. that I never will. But on the flip side, nurses know a lot of things that RTs don't. I would feel really uncomfortable having somebody working as my RT who had not been trained as an RT, which I think is the concern that a lot of nurses are expressing here.

Best of luck on your job hunt. It sounds like a really frustrating situation.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

By far I think this is the most level-headed and well thought out response to your question. Listen to their advice.

Aw, thanks.

The flip side is that if you are at all interested in pursuing a nursing career the old-fashioned way, your RT (and CNA) background would be a huge asset. A dual specialty in respiratory therapy and nursing would be amazingly beneficial in acute care, especially in the ICU or any floor that frequently sees respiratory infections (although you may run into legal issues related to scope of practice and your employee role as nurse vs. RT??) Plus, if RT is your passion, then having a staff nurse role in a hospital may allow you to apply internally to become an RT.

Some of the smartest, most skilled nurse practitioners in my ICU were once RTs who became RNs, who became NPs. It's a pretty awesome combo.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Are their medication courses for people in your situation?
Candidates who wish to challenge the board to become LVNs in California must have first completed a 54-hour pharmacology course before submitting their applications. No one in California can successfully challenge the board to become an LVN without completion of this pharmacology course.

No, that's not what it says. There are classes required for CA too.

Such as what? I have all the nursing prerequisites completed. I have many of the core classes completed. But because I don't have any classes entitled "nursing theory" I'm not qualified? I have coached new grad RNS through their tasks, I have had to intervene when RNS made huge mistakes. I have done things I've been asked to educate my entire floor in the hospital on because the RNS were not skilled in doing it as I was. My work as a CNA was mostly in a huge hospital which was a great learning hospital. I have worked very close with many entities in that hospital, I have been doctors right hand, I have coached med students. But because I have CNA behind my name, you assume I am ignorant? Okay....

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK