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I really need some advice from experienced nurses!!!


Hi there! Im 22 years old and I have wanted to get into nursing since I was in highschool. Im finally taking the plunge into this. Ive been doing a lot of research about whether I should start out as an LPN or go directly into being and RN.

I have no money for school so I will be getting loans, grants, and scholarships (if i can):idea:. I live in the Seattle area and I have heard the waiting lists for RN programs can be up to two years:confused:. I really dont want to wait to start working as a nurse. I know I can finish my LPN in about a year to 18 months and start working. Ive heard though that by becoming an LPN you can enter the LPN-RN Bridge program a lot quicker. (Sometimes waiting only a semester.) Plus this will alow me to start working as an LPN to gain more experience and make sure being an RN is really what I want to do. Even though im sure its what I want to do.

Ive asked several people about this idea and have gotten mixed responses. I would really hate to get my pre-req's done and then find out I have to wait two years to even start my RN program. Which means I may not start working as a nurse for 4+ years. I just want advice from people who are nurses themselves and what the feel about becoming an LPN first, and what they think about the bridge program choice. This is a huge choice for me so I really appreciate the advice. Thanks!:heartbeat

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Sounds like the LPN to RN bridge would fit into your goals.

First, check the job market. Is there a job market for new grad LPNs in your area? Around here new grad LPNs are scrambling for jobs in hospitalbs, but nursing homes and other long term care facilities do have jobs.

I would keep the RN as your goal because you'll enjoy a wider job market at much better pay. Around here new grad RNs make about $10.00 more per hour than LPNs. So while getting your LPN makes sense for now, make sure you keep on keeping on. Many people find themselves so burned out from LPN school, they get to working and making money, and then are too tired from working to go back to school right away and the years go buy.

Good luck!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

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


You go!!!

Don't worry too much about using loans - be sure you familiarize yourself with the Federal loan repayment programs that are available. You will probably have an opportunity to 'work off' you loan by working in an area designated as 'medically underserved'. These areas are all over the place - including smack in the middle of most major cities.

It takes time to become a nurse... that's just the way it is. The educational process is designed not only to instill knowledge in a huge variety of areas, but also to provide a sort of 'apprenticeship' to develop the physical skills you will need. As a nurse, you will have to fulfill an awesome level of responsiblity to your patients and you certainly want to be prepared to do so.

Is relocation a possibility for you? I have family in Portland, so I know that it's getting kind of grim up there. College & university funding is being threatened, so they may be cutting back on financial aid and program size. Right now, it appears that the economy is hitting some areas much harder than others... for instance, new grads have no problem getting hired here in Texas or Houston, but that is not the case in other areas.

I just want you to have an accurate picture of what it is going to take. There is no fast track or shortcut to becoming a competent nurse.

I agree with the first poster that you should scope out what your job possibilities as an LPN in your area. Having done that, if you find you will be marketable get your LPN but please don't stop there! In the 30+ years I have been a nurse, the first 12 as an LPN, I have seen the desire to hire LPNs wax and wane. It will give you some experience, some $ and help you know what the medical field has going for you! Also, look closely into the programs you would be applying to. try to meet with someone from the nursing schools and see what their application process entails, how long the wait lists are, etc. Please don't give up your dream!!! Us baby boomers are going to need nurses to care for our aging bodies soon and we need to make sure there is going to be someone there to fulfill our needs!:D

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