Prospective So Calif student looking for career path advice

  1. I hope this isn't flagged as supposed to be posted on the pre-student forum because I wanted to get advice from current and former students.
    I am looking into nursing as a second career. I am 29 and don't really want to spend the time to take a community college BSN or RN program because they seem too long. I have no community college credits and have only previous vocational schooling. I am concerned about the pre-requisits for Pasadena City College (my local community college, and a very reputable one), mostly because there are pre-requisits for all the pre-requisit classes! The biggest reason is that I have no means to support myself, except by working, so I can't be a full time student in a community college with 2 + years of pre-pre-requist, and pre-requisit classes followed by a 4 semester RN program. Moving with parents etc is not an option for me.
    I was planning on attending a vocational (LVN) course (any advice for schools in the Los Angeles area??) and immediately enrolling in a bridge program while I begin working. That seems like the most logical path for me, but I've read not all LVN programs are eligible for bridge program transfers.
    How does this work? Anyone else done this route?
    Also, I have always considered nursing school for various reasons, but have zero health care industry background. Any advice there would also be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks guys for reading my post, and thank you so much in advance for any feedback positive or negative!!!
  2. Visit slward profile page

    About slward

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 19

    4 Comments

  3. by   Future-nurse
    You can do whats called a non-degree option to become a RN with only having to do anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. The catch is that you can only work in california and you cant get an associate degree or anything higher. But hey... if someone told me when I first started doing my pre-req's that I could just take those three classes and get into a RN program I wouldnt have cared about moving up, it was more about how quickly I could generate CASH!

    This option isnt for everyone since there is some risk involved but I just wanted to let you know of the quick option out there. Also if you decide to go this route you can personal message me for the details and I will be glad to help...

    P.S. Citrus college (glendora) actually allows you to take micro/physio in the same semester so technically you could take anatomy one semester then physio/micro the next (you wouldnt get good grades but most all of the socal programs are lottery anyways) and apply to the RN program as fast as you woud a LVN program.
  4. by   Future-nurse
    Oh and I forgot... as for a means to support yourself... most people I have talked to work during the first semester of an RN program anyways and after the first semester you can work at the hospital while you are going through the program...

    Also as long as you are over 25 you are independent of your parents income so with 2 dependents of your own you could probably qualify for financial aid (free money grants / loans without interest) to let you survive school without working.

    I probably left out something but personal message me if you need the info.
  5. by   Daytonite
    here is a listing of all the approved lvn courses in california:
    you would need to ask each individual lvn to rn bridge program what the criteria is for admittance into their program. here is the link on the board web site to the listing of rn approved schools:
    i have to tell you that most lvn programs are full time meaning that between class and clinicals you will find yourself spending a good 40 hours sitting in class and taking care of patients. that does not include studying for tests and completing assignments. working a fulltime job while going through an lvn program is nearly impossible. they are vocational programs because they are preparing you to do a job, so consider it job training. the majority of lvns work in nursing homes.

    personally, i think getting an lvn first and then going back to get an rn is a waste of time. the two jobs are very different. i saw lots of lvns who went back for their rns and they struggle with the rns curriculum just as much as the people who have never been lvns. what you learn as an lvn is covered in the first 6-8 weeks of rn school. rns are taught to problem solve, think critically. prioritize care, delegate tasks to subordinate members of the healthcare team, to make decisions, and manage the care of the patient, something that lvns do not learn. i started out getting an aa degree and then going back for my bsn. if i could do it all over i would have just gone straight for my bsn. if you desire to get into supervision and management you will need a bsn.

    you can go part-time to finish up all the pre-requisites before you apply for actual nursing classes. once you start actual rn nursing classes, however, most programs require that you must take them full time.

    consider this: we all have been in your position of having to make decisions and having to complete pre-requisites and in some cases do remedial classes before taking the pre-requisites as well. i was 24 and had been a bookkeeper before deciding to go to nursing school. that was over 30 years ago. at the time i thought i was too old to make the change. now, i am really old and have been an rn for over 30 years.

    suggest you read all the information for students considering a nursing career on these websites:


  6. by   slward
    Wow! Thank you, you guys!! I will check out the info straight away and let you know what happens!

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