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I am a CMA

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celeste26 celeste26 (New) New

I am a CMA since 2011. I work in a primary care clinic for 3 years rooming pt's, taking vitals, injections, drawing blood. I love my job, recently I applied for LPN program at a community college, I was accepted classes start in June. I getting $15 as an CMA. I having second thoughts about school, since what I making is ok and being a LPN will just increase my paid around 2 to 3 dollars more but I will also have student loans I really don't know if is worth it or not . I will have to quit my full time job because school is full time . Please advise!!! I really confused of what should I do. Also I see that now clinics are hiring a lot CMA's.

I'm one of apparently few that's made it through school with no debt through a series of scholarships and financial aid. Nothing scares me more than accruing student debt. I hear they can be brutal. I'm drowning just with my little creditndebt of a couple thousand haha.

If you're comfortable where you are, don't go. Plain and simple. If you feel like you wanna do more, then find a way to make it work. Do you have a significant other ? If so, maybe they can handle the load for a while, in the meantime you could finish school and maybe balance out expenses.

Or take out a giant loan that you can live off of for the duration of the program and live frugally for a few years afterward while you pay off the debt.

Have you started crunching numbers ? Do you have a school in mind? Find out how much tuition is and what kind of Financial assistance you can get. A couple scholarships can go a long way.

Its also not unheard of to work while in school. Fulltime is virtually impossible but part time could hold you over. People in my class most of them work as techs in a hospital, or are just plain servers and things of that nature. A lot are married so they have a spouse to help greatly.

You've got a few options available to you, the only real question is how bad do you want it

Would you consider going for your RN? I feel that would give you a better diferance in pay with going in debt over student loans. I don't know if I'd find going to school for two years and only a 2 dollar raise worth it.

Also think of the jobs themselves. Do you enjoy and like what you are doing right now? LPNs usually work in LTC and many times now do not work in hospitals. There are usually limitations to where LPNs work. If you want to be a nurse and have a better range of employment opportunities go for your RN

It is a 13% raise (2 dollars on top of 15) - if you are able to work during your program and are able to pay as you go it would be worth it. Especially if you are closer to the beginning of your career and will have a lifetime of increased earnings.

Thank you so much for replies. Yes my goal is to be an RN but I want to do my LPN full time first and then find a full time job and work on my RN part time, that's my goal. I really want to be a nurse I found some patients telling me so u are not a nurse? Just a CMA ? If they only know CMA's do and know as much as a LPN. That just bother me :no:

Umm I don't know if an MA knows everything that an LPN knows. I believe there are major areas that LPNs have to take classes in that MAs do not. One area I think about is meds pharmaceutical. Please correct me if I am wrong in this but I don't believe that MAs are qualified in passing out meds.

Well. I went to school for one year actually I am a RMA and also phlebotomist too. I took pharmaceutical classes. I do injections and vaccinations for kids too. I don't know if that the case for all CMA's. I work with an LPN and we both do the same job but our paid is $2 difference. That's why I was confused if I should go to school or not . But I decided I will go because I love what I doing and I want to learn more to be able to help as much as I can. My goal is to be an RN. I know is not going to be easy but time does not stop and I'm going to be 34 soon, so I better hurry :x3:

Edited by celeste26

Yes the LPN does the same job in the office that you work at, but that is because the job she is doing in the doctors office is only half of what she learned to do in nursing school. there are things she is able to do that you legally can not do. IVs handing out meds. Their scope of practice exceeds your own as an RMA. To say you know EVERYTHING that an LPN knows is.a stretch. There is a reason the LPNs can work in hospitals and LTCs and you as an MA can not.

I think you will be a good nurse and be able to branch out and learn and do new things as a nurse that would hold you back as an MA so I think you should go for your nursing and it would be well worth it. I think you will find there is a lot of new knowledge that you will come across while being in nursing school.

Edited by mvm2

Ohh ok now I see thank you so much!! That really help me to understand better what's the difference and I really appreciated. I hopefully will be starting school in May and everyday I getting more and more excited and scare about it but I willing to study hard and I will update as it goes thank u again!!!

Good luck I'm sure you will do wonderfully

Hey I'm an RMA to I just got accepted into an LPN program I start in June as well I work currently in urgent care I do IV's, draw blood from IV's I would taught how to do a foley on a female, I do a lot of things in urgent care and I love it I want to work in ER when I finish nursing school what about you

Thank you so much for replies. Yes my goal is to be an RN but I want to do my LPN full time first and then find a full time job and work on my RN part time, that's my goal. I really want to be a nurse I found some patients telling me so u are not a nurse? Just a CMA ? If they only know CMA's do and know as much as a LPN. That just bother me :no:

This statement really bothers me. My LPN program was two years long, going full-time.

I was an LPN for a number of years and have now been an RN for over fifteen years.

A CMA's education cannot compare to that of an LPN.

CMAs generally work directly under a doctor.

As an LPN. I was the only licensed person on duty, and cared for 65 LTC pts on nocs, with only two CNAs to help.

No doctors or other nurses around.

CMAs don't do this type of thing.

Thank u mvm2 I really appreciate your help.

So sorry that I offend you Anna S RN with my comment. I guess I was just thinking about the LPN I work with, but somebody in the thread just explained already and I accepted I was wrong.

That's why I joined this page to learn more, again sorry if my post offend u.

Yes futureRNgreen I like "hands on" as well but I heard that to be an ER nurses, we will have to go for RN so let's work on it!! I'm soo excited!!!

Edited by celeste26
missing info

seanynjboy

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Supervisory, HEDIS, IT.

Hi Celeste,

Let me start by saying that as a CMA, you will not advance too far in your career $$ wise, and are limited in what you can do with your certification. I am in NO WAY putting down MAs as I think they are the backbone of all primary care offices. I used to be an office manager and without the dedicated MAs I had working with me, the office would have never worked as well (Same with the LPNs I worked with - they were my "2nd in command"). I am just laying that out right there to start...

CMAs have a small potential to take on management roles, I have met a few of them, but are few and far between. A lot of offices would like to see someone with either an LPN or RN license. Although the pay bump at your office is "only $2-3 more an hour" it will eventually pay off, your student loans will eventually pay off and you will always be a nurse. ((FUN MATH - $2.50 x 40 hrs per week x 52 weeks = $5200 (before taxes) more a year.)) For some people that is a car payment.

I am a HUGE advocate of higher education. In the medical field, you are constantly learning and we have to keep on top of that. A CMA (and LPNs in some place) is a task-oriented roll (as you stated, you do specific tasks, ie vitals, rooming, injections, phleb). Whereas an RN takes on a more assessment and critical thinking role and is usually also a supervisory role in some capacity.

It took me A LONG time to go back to school. I flip-flopped in and out for years until I finally bit the bullet and went back to nursing school. I started out as a pharmacy tech for 10 years, went back to nursing school and got my LPN while in RN school - the school I was at had the capability - I worked at a long-term care facility ($18/hr to start $21/hr after training complete) to get some experience for a few months during my last 2 semesters of nursing school. I graduated, passed the NCLEX-RN and then got a job at a hospital ($28/hr nightshift). Left the hospital to do nursing IT work ($30/hr). Moved back to NJ and got the managing job ($31/hr) and recently took a job doing chart review ($33/hr). My chart review job is a contract job and I was just offered a long-term contract for a work-at-home position for RNs doing advanced coding ($33/hr). I do have loans - and will be paying them off over a LONG period of time. I make more than enough to cover my payments and after they are over, who knows what I will buy... :)

Bottom line...YES you will have loans when you graduate, they go away after a while, your pay bump will most likely take care of the loan payments and you will have some left over. After loans are paid off (and over time getting raises) - you will STILL BE A NURSE and making more $$ than before as a CMA.

Good luck in ANYTHING you choose. Although I am a firm believer in higher education, a person should also BE HAPPY with their job. You spend 1/3 of your life working (or more) so make sure you are happy. (Same as you spend 1/3 sleeping - so buy a good mattress lol)

If you ever have any questions about nursing send me a message :)

Good luck :)

Wow.Thank u so much for an awesome advised and explanation. I will starting my school on May 26 if everything goes ok. I really appreciated you took the time to explain the benefits . Now more than nothing I know this is not a wrong decision at all !!

seanynjboy

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Supervisory, HEDIS, IT.

Wow.Thank u so much for an awesome advised and explanation. I will starting my school on May 26 if everything goes ok. I really appreciated you took the time to explain the benefits . Now more than nothing I know this is not a wrong decision at all !!

Awesome :) Good luck! You ever need a pep talk or anything send me a message :)

Good for you! I'm an MA too with 16 years of experience. I'm in my third semester of RN program (ADN). I love school! Still working full-time though. I have 3 more semester to go. We can do this! Good luck to you!

Go for the RN Program instead!