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Information Overload...need some advice badly!

Hello, everyone! I am a new member and after reading around awhile, I have finally come to the point where I must post and ask for help! I'll try to get the gist of the problem across without bombarding you all with my life story, but if it gets a bit long, please forgive me.

I am 50 years old and I am thinking about trying to become an LPN. There are a lot of things that might suggest that I shouldn't, like I have a left knee problem, my stomach is not the strongest in the world, and after reading a lot of these stories from people that have been through it and know what they are talking about on here, I have become somewhat scared off!

This is not my first foray into the medical field; I went to school to be a medical receptionist at 25, not because I really wanted to be one, I guess because the money sounded okay at that time. I never did anything there, becasue I got pregnant right after, and so I opted to be the stay-at-home mom. I didn't think I was missing anything special. Until one day a few years ago, I had to have surgery. All the professionals were okay, but this one Dr. stood out; He was the consummate professional; EXCEPTIONAL bedside manner, he made me feel very special, like I was in the best hands ever and that he really cared about me as a patient and I thought that was really rare. What happened was, in just that short time he became a huge inspiration to me to want to be that for someone else, and to better myself. From that my passion and

and desire to be in the medical arena grew. I did some medical billing courses and now I don't know if I should do that because I may end up regretting not being nearer to the patients on a personal level. I don't know if that would be better for my knee, because sitting down a long time affects it, also. I've looked into so many other programs trying to decide what's best and I am soooo confused and overwhelmed, though I keep coming back to being an LPN. I feel that once I am in an atmosphere doing something I love, I can adapt to anything... So,should my passion override practicality in this case? Should I overlook my shortcomings and do what my heart tells me? If anyone has anything at all to offer, it would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

What kind of work did you do after your child was raised? If you are used to working on your feet you should be able to do the LPN thing without too much problem. Since LPNs are often utilized in LTC there can be a fair amount of lifting also so keep that in mind. Good luck.

Hello, Jules. Thank you so much for replying! To answer your question, I have run the gamut of jobs trying to make ends meet, from janitorial to customer service, mostly part time so as to have more time at home. But since I injured my knee a few years back, I haven't attempted to work. I have been through PT, and I exercise it everyday like it was suggested to me. I just want to be realistic in my expectations before I go into a program and then have to drop out because I can't hack it. Also, if you don't mind, do you have any thoughts regarding me handling the various jobs that might require me to "stomach up", as it were? Should I try a CNA first just to get a taste of what I'll be dealing with before I spend over a year and countless dollars in school for LPN? This next decision I make I think HAS to be the keeper. I'm not getting any younger. LOL.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Do you think you could do the janitor job now? I think that might be comparable physically. You could try volunteering at a hospital to get an idea of the routine. If you want to try working as a CNA I personally think that is way harder both physically and labor wise than nursing so if you could do that you should be able to do the nursing component, imo. I'm in decent shape and while I don't find my job grueling physically after a 12 hour day my feet and legs are tired. I work with a couple of older nurses that have had knee replacements and do ok in psych but it doesn't look easy on them. Good luck.

Have you thought about becoming a Medical assistant? If you are looking to work in a doctors office this may be a really good idea. In my area MA's make just a dollar less than an LPNs.

I have thought about volunteering for awhile, just to see what all goes into it. But then, I really need to work for pay, so I don't know. I thought about the medical asst. thing, too, but I heard that they don't have as many options as the LPN, as far as job versatility goes, something else that I am looking for, but then again, yes, it's less stress on a person's stomach.. Who knows, maybe I want too much! I don't know about the pay difference here, but it's something to look into further, I guess...I just want to make a decision, the right one, and get started. I'll post back again when I do. Thank you guys for the input!

How about an ADN program? In our area, LPNs are being somewhat phased

out. (Personally, this is a mistake from my point of view)

I would hate to see you go through all that work, then job opportunities

decrease for LPNs.

An ADN would give you room to return to school for the BSN later

on if you desired.

Another avenue in healthcare is radiology/ultrasound.

In this area it is steady work and they are always looking for

rad staff.

Whatever you decide, take your time so you can enjoy and settle

in a role that you will love and have advancement in.

Hi. I have thought about the ADN also. Have heard that a lot about the LPNs being slowly phased out, then if you look it up on the Occupational Handbook, the job opportunities are growing "faster than normal"...I seriously don't know what to think here...I 've also had my eye on the radiology thing, I've sent for an application packet for that so that I can see what all would be required for me to do, that would take 22 mos. approx: not bad, if I can work at the same time, but I hear that you are on you feet a lot in this, too, and keep thinking I might regret missing out on the nurse thing. wow, so many things to consider. I am eligible for a grant right now and I want to use it before I'm not eligible again, I want to avoid taking out another loan. Sigh. I quess they all have their pros and cons. I'm considering just putting them all together in a hat and drawing one out. That might be easier. Do you know how hard is it to go from LPN to RN?

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

For me it was easy and cheap going from LPN to RN at a CC. A summer online class and then the last two semesters with the RN students. IMO LPN is harder physical work than RN but both require almost near constant standing in most areas. Good luck with whatever you decide to try.

I say if its something you want to do, GO FOR IT. My advice tho, would be to consider the ADN opposed to the LPN... they are phasing LPNs out and you may have a hard time finding a job. Also with an RN, you can do other things besides floor nursing (thinking of the bad knee) like case management or something less physically demanding. Good Luck!

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