Im deciding whether to take on LVN

  1. hi, im in my second year of college trying to complete prereqs for the nursing programs throughout the bay area. my counselor told me its gonna be a 2-3 year waiting list. im deciding if i should take LVN/LPN and then take a bridge program to RN later. i was wondering if anyone knew the process of doing that and how long it would take. and if it would matter if i had a certificate versus a Associates. thank you!
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    About Nuuurse2b

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 2


  3. by   norcalRNstudent
    Two thoughts for you...
    I've heard that Gavilan College in Gilroy doesn't have much of a waiting list, because they require you to be a CNA first, then 2 years to LVN, then the third year you get your RN. So, it does take longer than a traditional CC program, but all you'd be doing with that extra year is sitting on the waiting list at another school.

    My other thought...unless you want to work in LTC, I've seen very few (like 1 or 2) LVN's working at hospitals. If LTC is what you'd like to do, go for it, otherwise, I'd get your RN.
  4. by   wooosp
    I did exactly that. I completed my prereqs and then went on and got my LVN license, I did not want to wait that long. As an LVN and having completed my prereqs, I'm left with just getting accepted into the 3rd semester of an RN program, this will give me an associates degree in nursing. There is a 30-unit option for those LVN's who would like to get their RN without having completed their prereqs, this option doesn't give you a degree.

    Keep in mind that you might still have to wait up to 2 semesters to get into an RN program (depending on your school), but the thing that I love about it is that I'm working in the medical field, gaining expirience and making some money while I wait.

    Good Luck to you....I hope this helps.
  5. by   scallywags
    This is the path that I choose to take for myself. I have all of my pre reqs, except for Microbiology (which I plan on taking either this summer or next fall). About a year ago, I needed to make a choice and decided to go with the LVN program. I will graduate in four months.

    Going into it, I looked into several options to continue studying for RN. Some colleges allow advanced placement into their RN programs. This would allow you to bypass the first year of the RN program (associate degree level), considering all pre reqs are completed. There is also the 30 unit option, which does not grant a degree and may not be recognized in other states. I have a friend who was a LVN and went onto get her BSN at Dominican in Marin County. I think she said it was less than 2 years.

    Good luck
  6. by   Sheri257
    I'd go for the RN because, a lot of things can change with waiting lists. And the LVN route doesn't guarantee advanced placement either.

    My school had a two year waiting list but, they've increased the class size substantially so, a friend of mine got bumped up one semester on the waiting list just because of that.

    Other people were able to start a lot sooner if they were willing to sign contracts with hospitals who paid for the extra slots in the program. And, other people simply got tired of waiting and went elsewhere ... which opened up other slots. So, I'm not absolutely sure but, I think they're down to one year now.

    But here's the thing: the LVN route can cause delays also. I don't know how it works in other programs but, in my program, you've got to take an additional transitional LVN to RN course.

    AND, you have to pass the challenge exams to save any time in RN school. This can cause unforeseen delays because there's no guarantee you'll have only one year of RN school as an LVN.

    While most LVN's (although not all) passed the first exam that allowed them to skip the first semester in my program, most didn't pass the second exam and had to repeat 2nd semester.

    Out of seven LVN's in my class, only two passed both challenge exams and were able to go straight to 3rd semester. So ... depending on how you do on the challenge exams, that's yet another delay.

    Especially since they only let you take and/or retake the challenge exams a couple of times a year. If you don't pass a challenge exam, you can't retake it right away. You still have to wait for the next semester exam.

    At that point, you might as well repeat the semester anyway since it makes no difference in your graduation schedule. Because if you do wait for the next semester exam, you also risk failing the next time and falling even further behind schedule by yet another semester.

    So ... with all of these unpredictable factors, I'm not sure you save much time with the LVN route. And it could actually delay your RN graduation date even further.

    If you're trying to save time .... I'd apply to every RN program I could and go with the first one that takes me, even if that means commuting. After you get past that first semester bottleneck, it's a lot easier to transfer to a program closer to home because people inevitably flunk out.

    There are three people in my class who did just that.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 2, '06
  7. by   Nuuurse2b
    Thanks for the input, this is so much to decide, and times getting closer and closer.