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Becoming an LPN while in RN school

LPN/LVN   (9,437 Views | 32 Replies)

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So, I am in my last 8 months of FAMU's BSN program in Tallahassee, FL, and I take my NCLEX-PN in four days!! I found out a while back that you could challenge the boards for LPN, but could never really find much info from people who actually did it. I wanted to create a thread for other nurses who are thinking about doing the same thing!! The whole process took a couple months for me, but could have been done much faster if I had some advice from someone in the same situation.

Thinking about becoming an LPN while finishing up RN schooling?? Have any questions?? Let me know :)

ChrystalAD

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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Good luck with NCLEX-PN!

Unfortunately, many state boards of nursing no longer allow students in professional registered nursing programs to challenge the NCLEX-PN to become an LPN. The New York Board of Nursing is the most recent BON to have stopped allowing students to challenge the NCLEX-PN.

However, it's a wonderful option for students in states where it's still permitted.

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I don't recommend this unless you really, really need to work as an LPN to afford school (and can't find any other kind of work). I previously taught in an ADN program in a state in which students were eligible to sit the NCLEX-PN after their first year of school. Many of the other faculy actively encouraged students to do this. What I observed while teaching there was that students would get licensed as an LPN halfway through school and get a job at one of the local SNFs. The SNFs would make them all kind of wonderful promises about how much orientation they would get, how the SNF would be happy to work around their school schedule, etc. Then, they would find themselves, after a few days of orientation, responsible for passing meds on 30 or 40 residents, something for which they were not at all prepared, and it turned out the SNF couldn't care less about their school schedule (big surprise!). Many of these students came very close to flunking out of school; most of them quit the SNF jobs because they couldn't manage both school and the struggle to adapt to the LPN role.

Why spend the effort, time, and $$$ on a license that you're not going to use once you graduate from your nursing program? I think it's a nice option to have if one ends up flunking out or otherwise needing to leave school, but I do not encourage RN students to pursue this and try to work as a new LPN while also going to nursing school.

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Whether or not an employer keeps the promises made upon hire is a function of that employer. Likely they would act the same way no matter what your license status is. Getting the license is a good hedge against the unforeseen bad event that keeps you from graduating and obtaining the RN license, but you should be careful about starting an LPN job and letting that take precedence over RN school. I speak from first hand knowledge on that aspect. Certainly it is better to have an LPN license instead of nothing, but who is to say that circumstances dealing with the LPN license and job did not contribute to failure to graduate from RN school. Just food for thought.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,213 Profile Views

One would still have the option of pursuing LPN licensure when/if one did have to (or chose to) leave school. I don't see the point of spending the time, money, and effort unless it's really necessary -- not just doing it because you can, when you're not going to need or use an LPN license once you're licensed as an RN.

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BSNbeDONE has 34 years experience as a ASN, BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

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Very good points on two opposing views! My fear, knowing what I know as a former LPN and now RN, is that gaining experience as an LPN in LTC would make one change his or her major altogether. After all, the elderly patient with all its eye drops, tube feeds, accuchecks, pills, and ulcers do come to the hospital. Couple that with the thought of a frequent flyer on q2h narcotic administration, you have your mass exodus right there. It only takes one major event to make the inexperienced say forget it.

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66 Posts; 3,271 Profile Views

Wow! A lot of input here! Challenging the boards is still an option here in FL. My interest in working as an LPN before I graduate comes from 2 places. 1) The pay as an LPN in Tallahassee is far beyond what I would make picking up some other part-time job (ranging from 15-19/hr), and 2) Clinical nursing experience. Point blank, in order to avoid taking more student loans (at around $15,000.00 right now), this seems like a good idea for me. Additionally, I feel like having clinical experience will put me a step above some of my "competition" when I graduate. I worked for the first 6 months of my BSN program, and have now been unemployed for the past 6.

For some people, I definitely think working could interfere with their school work, but that's just not the case for me. I've maintained a 3.5 throughout and am excited to take my test today and get back in the workforce!!!!!! It's all about drive and determination :) Total, this has cost me about $450.00 In my opinion, that is much less than the extra student loans I would need to survive.

If anyone has any questions about the application process, I'd be glad to help!!!! I'll stay posted on how the NCLEX goes, and how finding a job goes too! *fingers crossed*

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66 Posts; 3,271 Profile Views

Just got home from taking my NCLEX!! The test stopped at the minimum number of questions, and I was surprised how many "select all that apply" there were. I swear, they were at least half of my 85 questions! Anyways, I feel good about it, and just got the good pop up on PearsonVue.

Looks like it's time to start job hunting!!!!

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

4 Followers; 226 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 320,925 Profile Views

Just got home from taking my NCLEX!! The test stopped at the minimum number of questions, and I was surprised how many "select all that apply" there were. I swear, they were at least half of my 85 questions! Anyways, I feel good about it, and just got the good pop up on PearsonVue.

Looks like it's time to start job hunting!!!!

Congratulations! I worked as an LVN throughout my time in an LPN-to-RN/ASN degree program and was able to manage both ventures reasonably well.

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Hopefuldogmom has 7 years experience as a LVN and specializes in 4.

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As an LVN who is pursuing her RN, it is a difficult task to both work & go to school. Trust me on this one!! I am sure that some manage to work nights and go to school during the day, but I have not met one yet. I don't want to discourage you but I will be honest. I am an LVN who works full time at a major hospital and I do find it hard to be the perfect student. I work my tail off and it is exhausting. I would not recommend obtaining your LVN license and working while attending school, as I believe school is more important at this time. The experience will definitely help you but you can also volunteer to obtain knowledge. Nonetheless, I wish you the best of luck & I do admire your tenacity. :geek:

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

4 Followers; 226 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 320,925 Profile Views

As an LVN who is pursuing her RN, it is a difficult task to both work & go to school. Trust me on this one!! I am sure that some manage to work nights and go to school during the day, but I have not met one yet.

I worked the 32-hour weekend double shift as an LVN while attending an LPN-to-RN program full-time. I worked two 16 hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am to 10:00pm, which enabled me to have Monday through Friday off every week.

Some students work 12-hour shifts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to earn full-time pay while attending school full-time during the week.

As a nontraditional student who had a mortgage, other bills and no spouse or partner to help, I had to continue working while attending school. I benefited from continuing to work because my GPA was high enough for me to graduate with honors, and I have no student loan debt because I made tuition payments while in school.

To me, it's the people who work five 8-hour shifts per week who might encounter the most problems with a full-time school schedule.

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Hopefuldogmom has 7 years experience as a LVN and specializes in 4.

368 Posts; 6,866 Profile Views

I worked the 32-hour weekend double shift as an LVN while attending an LPN-to-RN program full-time. I worked two 16 hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am to 10:00pm, which enabled me to have Monday through Friday off every week.

Some students work 12-hour shifts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to earn full-time pay while attending school full-time during the week.

As a nontraditional student who had a mortgage, other bills and no spouse or partner to help, I had to continue working while attending school. I benefited from continuing to work because my GPA was high enough for me to graduate with honors, and I have no student loan debt because I made tuition payments while in school.

To me, it's the people who work five 8-hour shifts per week who might encounter the most problems with a full-time school schedule.

I would have to agree with you on this.

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