I need help starting my nursing career


Hello, I am a little confused on how to start off my nursing career. I currently possess an Associate's Degree in Automotive Technology with a 3.5 average from my local college here which I aquired in June of 2006. I am actually desiring to change careers and out of the few options I had (police officer, fire fighter, nursing) I finally decided that nursing would best suit me.

How do I start? My local college (the one I graduated from) that is less than 10 minutes away does not have an RN program. They only offer the LPN program. I have been doing some research on online courses to become an RN but those require you to already be an LPN.

I was thinking about signing up for this LPN class and during the wait period I could finish my core prerequisite classes and then after I obtain my LPN degree then take an online course from LPN-RN so I could spend more time at home. Does this sound like a good idea?

The only option I have for taking a course straight to RN Associate's Degree would be to go to a more distant school, about a 40 minute drive... meaning much less time at home and I don't know if I could fit that into my schedule because my work hours are not flexible, I could only attend school at night (which my local college does offer).

Thank you soooo much for your reply, I really look forward into becoming part of the nursing community soon!

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

You've obviously given this a lot of thought but keep in mind that nursing education involves just as much (if not more) physical skill as automotive technology.... neither can be mastered online. It is very much a hands-on process.

Your first step is to connect with prospective schools of nursing. They can provide you with all the information you need. Nursing school admissions are very competitive right now. There are usually pre-requisite courses to complete (with a very high GPA) before you can even apply. There are admission tests you will need to take. The process can be pretty complicated. Attrition rates are high - only about 60% of people accepted to nursing programs actually end up graduating with a degree.

From your message, it appears that you currently have a day job & you are looking for a nursing education option that would work around that. However, as you can easily discover here on AN, the nursing education process is normally too intensive for that to work. You may have to make other arrangements. I would also advise you to go directly into an RN program if that is what you want rather than doing it in stages by obtaining an LPN first. There is no guarantee that you would be able to find work as an LPN - and the type of jobs would probably be very limited. I know that you may be discouraged about the fact that this is going to take at least 2 years - but jobs for new grad nurses are pretty scarce right now. By the time you are finished, I am sure that there will be more opportunities.

Best of Luck to you!


72 Posts

There are advantages to becoming an lpn first.

-You get lots of hands on experience outside of a clinical setting, in which helps you to decide if you even want to become an RN and take on the extra responsibility.

-If you do decide to become an RN you have an advantage to getting into school b/c you do have experience. There are also many jobs that will help a great deal with the price of school for you to bridge from lpn to RN.

- You can do LPN while you are on the RN waiting list(if there is one where you live, and there usually is)

-There are still plenty of Lpn jobs in my area, so you should do some reasearch and find out how many LPN jobs are in your area.

-And if you need to work while going to RN school most LPN jobs will allow you flexable hours while you are in school to further your education.

Def do some research in your area and weigh the pro's and con's. I have talked with many RN's who were LPN's first and say they wouldn't have done it any other way.

On the other hand I have talked to LPN's who say they regret not just going straight into RN and feel like doing the PN program first was just a waste of time.

It's all about your lifestyle and what would fit you best. It seems like most older adults do LPN first so they can work as an LPN while getting their RN. But that's not to say that younger ppl don't do it too, and it's usually b/c of the 2 plus year waiting list to even get into RN school in the first place(at least in my area).

Research, talk to nurses both LPN and RN's and then do what seems best for you... I've done a lot of this myself in the past few weeks.Good luck with whatever you decide:nurse:

Thank you for your response, and thanks for posting your honest opinion. I will definitely have some thinking to do...

I appreciate your time for responding to my question, It has really made me think.