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Considering RT after some research. Anyone else, even for a minute?

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collegegirl209 collegegirl209 (Member)

Hi, all:

In the last few months, I've been doing some research on the nursing programs in my area. Students are having some major issues getting into a quality program and the other ones that have space are too pricey w/ some questionable reps. Along the way, someone mentioned becoming a RT and having a more specialized position. RT is very interesting and it encompasses treating the very functions in the body that I am interested in... so I may try for that program instead of nursing.

I do understand that RNs make around 10K+ more a year, which isn't a big concern to me. Also, that there is the possibilty for RNs to become NPs or move-up in other capacities. Before, NP sounded just right but I honestly do not want to have to be in school for another 6 yrs.

There are a lot of RN jobs, but I could spend 1/2 my life trying to get into a good program! Lol.

Any feedback would be valuable. Thx in advance. It's appreciated. :rolleyes:

It may be different depending on where you are, but I can tell you that from what I hear around here. Getting into RT school is not much easier than getting into nursing school. In fact it might be even harder in my neck of the woods since there are fewer programs. But the competition to get in is still there. That pretty much goes for all the health science professions around here. RT, PT, RN, Dental Hygiene, Radiology. All of them are competitive to get into. Good luck, whatever you decide.

Edited by mangopeach

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 10 years experience.

If that is where your interest lies, then go for it. But don't go for it thinking that admissions will be any quicker than a nursing program. There are far fewer RRT programs than LPN/RN programs. And there is a demand. In my area there are 5 RN programs, 2 public LPN programs, a few for-profit LPN programs and only 1 RRT program for greater than 2 county area. The competition is stiff and more science is needed for the RRT program than the RN program.

Yes, you are both right. True, true... What I'm going to do, is apply for the RT and ADN (at 3 different colleges) and see what happens, if I don't get into anything, I'd have to wait another year and by then I'd be able to also apply for the local BSN too, so that would be 5 programs I'd apply to for Spring 2013, lol (if I don't get in Spring 2012).

It's taking forever to finish the pre-reqs. :crying2:

Good luck! I'm finishing up my last pre-req this semester. I know it seems like its taking forever, but time really does fly! At the end of this semester it will be 2 years since I started this journey. 2 years ago, nursing school seemed so far away. I got accepted into my program a few weeks ago and I start nursing classes in January. I am excited but at the same time, I'm like holy smokes! Where did the time go???? Its time for the real show to start now and I'm nervous as heck! If you stay busy and keep focused, the time will fly by. You'll look up one day and probably have the same reaction I'm having right now, wow, I can't believe its been 2 years and its time for nursing school. (If thats what you decide to do)

Good luck!

The opportunities are not as great for RT jobs as for RN jobs. That is how an RN license trumps most any other healthcare occupation.

@caliotter - I have this weird underlaying feeling that if I chose something other than getting my RN, I'll regret it. Is that intuition? Lol.

RN is not necessarily the be all and end all of anyone's working life, but it certainly, in theory at least, offers far more opportunity than other specialties. Look at all the different types of facilities available, not to mention the different types of specialties. One day you can be working in OB, the next you can start a new job on a neuro floor. When you are an RT, there are far fewer places to work and far fewer available jobs, no matter how much you might enjoy being an RT.

Yes, you're right and ne of the biggies for me is job security. I'm a single parent and need to always be working. That is one of things that drew me to nursing, other than being interested in medical.

So, cali"otter"... that sounds like Monterey. I used to live there and Carmel... originally from Los Gatos, now in Modesto. Hopefully by the time I become a RN, the Calif market won't be more saturated (as I've heard it is).

Good luck! I'm finishing up my last pre-req this semester. I know it seems like its taking forever, but time really does fly! At the end of this semester it will be 2 years since I started this journey. 2 years ago, nursing school seemed so far away. I got accepted into my program a few weeks ago and I start nursing classes in January. I am excited but at the same time, I'm like holy smokes! Where did the time go???? Its time for the real show to start now and I'm nervous as heck! If you stay busy and keep focused, the time will fly by. You'll look up one day and probably have the same reaction I'm having right now, wow, I can't believe its been 2 years and its time for nursing school. (If thats what you decide to do)

Good luck!

@mangopeach - Thanks for that... I like to hear things like that. It calms me down. Seriously! Lol. I'm curious... is there anyway that you can tell me, in order, the classes that you took over the 2 yrs.? Like, semester by semester (including if u took summer semesters). Even though we aren't going to the same program, I'd like to see an example from someone that's almost done w/ their pre-reqs like you. I'd really appreciate it. :redbeathe

I'm a RRT and feel that going back for nursing offers more stability for me. For example at my hospital there are only 9 therapists working that shift on a busy day compared to I don't how many nurses. There aren't many jobs in south Florida. More schools are pumping RTs by the hundreds and there are some still have not been successful in finding a job. I love respiratory but I know the business aspect of things and they will quickly pay someone who is anxiously waiting for a job bout $8000 less than what you make. Every patient needs a nurse but not everyone needs an RT. I applied for a transitional program and received my acceptance letter today!

@mangopeach - Thanks for that... I like to hear things like that. It calms me down. Seriously! Lol. I'm curious... is there anyway that you can tell me, in order, the classes that you took over the 2 yrs.? Like, semester by semester (including if u took summer semesters). Even though we aren't going to the same program, I'd like to see an example from someone that's almost done w/ their pre-reqs like you. I'd really appreciate it. :redbeathe

Well, I had an Associates Degree in another field before starting on this journey so I already had some of the pre-reqs done already.

But this is what I did

1st Semester - Math & Political Science

2nd Semester - Chemistry and Humanities

3rd Semester - A&P 1 and US History

4th Semester(Summer) A&P II and Math Dosage For Nursing

Current Semester- Microbiology

Not that I would have done it differently anyway, but my school requires that the sciences be taken in a sequence. I've seen some people do Micro and A&P together for other schools, but that is not an option with my school. Chem is a pre-req to A&P, A&P I and II are pre-reqs to Micro

Coincidentally, I had to do my CPR certification class today for Nursing School and met someone there that just got accepted to my school's RT program. She said they only accept 40 people once a year and 1000 people apply! For nursing at my school, they accept people for Fall and Spring. Spring they accept 60 and Fall is twice that, sometimes more. So you stand a better chance of getting into the RN program here than the RT program. Not trying to discourage you at all. If that is what you want to do, go for it!! But just don't think its going to be any easier to get into than nursing school.

collegegirl, I'm not big on posting stuff but, I'm posting now because your situation is identical to what I went through. I am currently in my 3rd semester of a 2 year community college R.T. program. I wanted nursing bad, but in my area pretty rural area there was a 3 year wait for R.N. program, so I chose to do the R.T. route(same pre req's)

I don't think you will waste your time going with R.T. for the moment, it is also my understanding they now have a RRT to RN bridge. I won't go into who makes more or has more oppurtunities we all know REALITY! I have fun at my clinicals and have some really good folks around me, I have had many RN's help me with stuff. The Nursing field is great and will always be there for you, but if you need a career now then go with the R.T. program. Just don't take it as a easy way out, I have had a few Nursing program drop outs in my class, notice I said HAD. Yep they failed out of R.T. too.

Go with your heart no one on here knows you better then you, Good Luck

Jeff RT student c/o 2011