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Considering becoming a LVN before RN

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Buzo Buzo (New) New

I live in central California, the Jr college I attend has a RN program. Problem is seems like more than half of my classmates in Physiology are wanting to get into the RN program as well. This was the case with my classmates in Anatomy class. I am 30-something ;-)and need to start working ASAP. My long term goal is to earn a BSN. I would like to know your opinions on becoming a LVN first a smart move? Then move on to apply for RN bridge, then online course for BSN? Thanks for any input

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

The new grad LVN unemployment rate in central CA is high. The new grad RN unemployment rate in central CA is high, at approximately 43 percent. In other words, pick your poison. Good luck to you.

That's my plan, too! :-) Except I'm in upstate NY instead of CA. I think the experience as an LPN would be great. Plus, you get into the workforce quicker. :-)

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I would say finish all prereqs for the ASN and the first time you're not selected into the nursing program, go into the LPN/LVN program. That way, the next time to apply will be for the bridge program (provided you've passed the NCLEX), and you're most certainly sure to get a seat there, while already having and hopefully working, as an LPN. That's how it is in my area (of Georgia), even though, as an LPN, the community college I attended still had 14 seats empty at the moment I received my ASN degree elsewhere. They turned me down for the bridge program and I DID NOT wait around for them to reject me a second time. I've always kept a plan B for work and school.

Nursing24/7

Has 4 years experience.

Hi I'm in California too, so I feel your pain. I'm in the exact situation because community college nursing programs are just so darn hard to get into! And the private nursing school take 3-4 years & are SUPER expensive, it's so frustrating!

I am in a CNA program right now & I am looking into a couple of work commitment (contract) related LVN programs but I also started the process to get into WGU's online BSN program. Which route I ultimately end up taking depends on where the cards fall for me financially & employment wise in the next few months.

I think the LVN to BSN would be a good option for you to consider. I know a lot of people in LA who took that route & worked as LVNs while doing their BSN programs. I also think an online BSN programs would be a great option for you too if you just want to jump right to the chase and go straight for your BSN.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

I'm in California as well and have asked this question many times. I am currently enrolled in A&P and Microbiology at a community college. In addition, I have signed up for the LVN entrance exam and will be taking the test in two weeks. I will know my results the same day. I have no plan and letting the cards fall. I will know more on what path to take after I complete these science courses and find out what grade I have in each. The science course weigh a lot in most RN community colleges. I have heard some get in with a science GPA 3.0 and some get in with a science GPA 4.0. It all depends.

My goal is to apply to several RN programs in CA and TN next spring and/or start LVN program in CA next spring.

Edited by E-commerce

Alisonisayoshi, LVN

Specializes in LTC.

I am doing LVN first, but I completed all my RN prerequisites. I did LVN first because of the impaction in the RN programs near me. I didn't want my fate in the hands of a lottery. The bridge seats at the two schools closest to me rarely fill (they reserve 10 seats, the last two rounds they had only a few applicants). I also liked the idea of working and reinforcing what I was learning while achieving my RN. I even challenged the CNA exam to be able to work and reinforce what I am learning in LVN school.

Get all your pre req's out of the way, especially micro biologoy.. then do the lpn program,, that way you will have a better chance of being successful in the RN program and getting to graduate. Also, if you do the lpn program you can get a license to work in nursing while you go to RN school, but only work on the weekend or something. I know its a year's time to do lpn, but it will be worth it believe me. RN school has about a 65% drop out rate.

Get financial aid, pell grants and student loans if you can,, buy book used and the next to last edition to save money,, recording your classes is helpful. good luck.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks @northmissippi

Do you work in a clinic as a LVN? Where are the best places for new grads to work with the highest pay rate?

Edited by E-commerce

I was in your position. I thought about it this way

I applied for both, LVN/RN programs at the same time. If I got rejected from the RN program, but accepted into the LVN program. Why not do it? The LVN is a year program and the RN at a community college is a 2 year program. Since you are able to BRIDGE as a LVN into a RN program and if you get accepted you only have 1 year to complete.

So technically you are not really wasting your time as a LVN + (You can work as a LVN gain experience and possibly get hired as a RN once you finish your program).

Say you continuously apply and apply but don't get accepted are you just going to sit around and do nothing for the time being till you get accepted?

OR as your doing LVN and you realize that this isnt the career for you not only save yourself a BUNCH of time, and a quite a bit of money.

Nienna Celebrindal

Has 12 years experience.

Thanks @northmissippi

Do you work in a clinic as a LVN? Where are the best places for new grads to work with the highest pay rate?

The pay for LVNs isn't great its $15-22 unless you have a lot of experience or you just find one of those places that pay well (like Kaiser-if you can get it because their pay is amazing). IME I made the most money working in hospice, corrections, and Kaiser, the least work SNF and homecare.

One advantage is that you can work while you are dealing with the RN school admission process. Second advantage is that you can use the LVN license as a stepping stone to get into an RN program should the generic route not work. One disadvantage though, that you should be aware of since you are somewhat older, is that you can become complacent with an LVN paycheck. Nothing wrong with working because you have to, but you should not allow the income stream to deter you from your ultimate goal. So easy a trap to fall into as one gets older.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

@nightCrow

How did you get the job at kaiser? Is it really about who you know? The funny thing when I see anyone wearing scrubs at the store,etc, I ask if they work at kaiser. Lol

The pay for LVNs isn't great its $15-22 unless you have a lot of experience or you just find one of those places that pay well (like Kaiser-if you can get it because their pay is amazing). IME I made the most money working in hospice, corrections, and Kaiser, the least work SNF and homecare.

Nienna Celebrindal

Has 12 years experience.

@nightCrow

How did you get the job at kaiser? Is it really about who you know? The funny thing when I see anyone wearing scrubs at the store,etc, I ask if they work at kaiser. Lol

I got lucky, I applied while one maternity leave and they just happened to call when I was ready to go back to work. But its HARD, knowing people is very helpful. It also depends on where you live, in some areas its easier than others from what I hear.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

I see. For instance, if you live in a rural area vs city. Is that what you're referring to?

Personally, I'm going for my LVN license first. Its only a one year program so why not ! At the same time I am planning on taking my "easy" prerequisites for the RN program over this year of LVN schooling. When I say easy I mean P.E. classes and such. I think that's the best approach because you could be working as a nurse while waiting to get into the RN program. Goodluck to you, myself, and all others who are trying to achieve their career goals!

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Cocoluv06

will you be taking prereqs while in the lvn school?

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

Personally, I'm going for my LVN license first. Its only a one year program so why not!

Me too, BUT I'm already sure I'll have a job when I finish, and that's a huge part of why I feel comfortable going that route.

I have an unrelated BA from 17 years ago, and plan to take prereqs slowly over a couple years while working as a LPN, then bridge to RN, and BSN in time.