New user, I've hovered a lot, and read a lot, but now I'm deciding to actually participate in discussion. I'd like some feedback from nurses in GA.
I've worked in EMS for nearly 5 years, started from an EMT-Basic and worked my way up to paramedic recently. I'm really getting burned out with EMS; 24hr shifts, little sleep, long-distance, critical patient transfers spanning 2-3 or more hours, and I'm really losing my taste for emergency medicine. I would love a career that gave me some excitement, but also stability. The constant adrenaline rush is beginning to take a toll on me.
I wouldn't say I'm ready to leave healthcare 100% yet. I want to obtain my nursing degree, I'm really leaning towards my LPN for numerous reasons, one being I'm only 1 class away from applying to Practical Nursing school.
However, I'm catching a lot of opposing opinions with the few I have mentioned this to. Many of them say, "Why bother with LPN? You'll make more as an RN" true, but it's not totally about who money for me. Some say, "Don't waste your time, you've already got your medic, just bridge to RN" With that, I'm really not saving any time, I would still have to take 2-3 semesters of prerequisite courses before I could even apply to RN program. Then the constant (and everyone's favorite), "It's a waste of time, LPN's are phasing out, and soon won't be used at all."
With RN school, I would also hate to devote so much time, and money, only to find out...I don't really care for nursing! Because, I'm really not sure until I get into it and give it a try. On the other hand, I feel I could get into it, thoroughly enjoy it, and still have option to bridge if I wanted to.
I guess what I would like to know, is for the GA LPN's do you feel it was worth it to obtain and keep your LPN license? Do you struggle finding work outside of SNF or LTCF? Do you struggle to make ends meet with an LPN salary? Is it a rewarding feeling at the end of a day? Or do you feel like you're doing all the same work, but less perks because you're an LPN and not an RN?
Very interested to to hear all your feedback, it would GREATLY be appreciated.
Last edit by SleepyMedic on Oct 16
I think you might get bored quick, fast and in a hurry with being an LPN.The reason being that you will find it hard to deal with the slow pace of SNF, and LTC, which is were they are pushing most LPNS in GA.Disatisfaction with knowing it's almost impossible to give quality care, because of the ratio of PT/NURSE.
Unless you try Urgent Care facilities which are much better IMHO than a fast paced ER, if you
are looking to wind down. Most Urgent Care facilities will allow you to use all your skills as a former Paramedic.The shifts are 10-12hrs When I worked them I liked the pace fell right in coming through a nursing Agcy I primarily worked Urgent Care and the clinics in the Charlotte S.C area.
In GA. You may have to get through as a direct hire.I understand your hesitancy in not jumping in to become an RN.Yes the salary is absolutely better but if you are not sure you want to stay in the field at all, take the short route until you are sure.I was an LPN for many years but also had a B.A in CMM/MRKTING I put it to use and got into Life/ Health Insurance and all of my medical background became a huge asset.
Where do you live? I think the usage of LPNs varies greatly by area. We have LPNs in my ER and they function like an RN except that they can't titrate drips and a couple other small things (means they don't get the critical rooms). My hospital employs LPNs in many areas, even some in ICA/ICU if they commit to obtaining their RN in a certain time period (may have to be enrolled in school, I'm not completely sure on the details). Honestly, I think your best option would be to take the additional couple of semesters worth of core classes and apply to a bridge program. In the long run you're going to spend a lot of time and money to make about the same per hour as you make as a paramedic. I did the bridge program at Darton College (now part of Albany State University) and got my RN in 2013. I did their BSN bridge as well and finished that in 2015. Most of the core classes are online, even some of the lab courses only require you to go to labs (some of those are hybrids and you only go about every other week). I understand how you feel about being burned out on 24's. Are you able to go to 12 hour shifts? If you need some employment options, send me a PM. I'm in the Warner Robins area. I have a couple of contacts at various services in middle GA if you need some help finding a new job. Good luck to you!
Medic to RN here.. not in Georgia but I can tell you - Go for the RN. I knew when I started nursing school that hospitals/floor nursing was NOT for me. My 4 months on med/surg after I graduated drove that point home.
I worked home health and now hospice. It is wonderful. I have autonomy and a team. I get all the excitement I want, and the job is immensely fulfilling. The fact that it pays much better than even critical care transport is a bonus.
Nursing is a huge field. It may take people time to find their niche, but when you do, you won't look back.