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Is being an lvn really that great?

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(I’m in California btw. I’m in my 20s and live with my single mom).

My mom got sick and a young lvn home health lady comes to our house. She knows I want to be an RN and I’m taking my pereques (I have physiology and Microbiology left so I’ll be done sometime next year). She said I should be an lvn first, she went to American career college which is a for profit school and paid $30k (according to Google) which is a lot to become an lvn. I said that’s a lot, other places charge 5k, she said well trust me once you graduate and get a job you’ll be making so much you won’t even care about the loans! I was like WOW!! I didn’t know lvns had it like that. She’s like trust me you won’t even wanna be an RN after you already have a job and stable as an lvn. She said she didn’t even spend years taking prereques like I am now, she didn’t have time and wanted to get money fast. I said well then after that I got to find an lvn to RN bridge program which will be a pain, and I heard some schools don’t accept American career college, she said yes they do it’s accredited, etc. (I know west coast accepts it but that’s also a for profit school so it would make more sense just to go to their RN program).

I don’t know who to get advice from, my grades are average so I don’t know if I can compete with others to get into a California CC ADN program. I still have 2 science courses left, but each semester is 4 months, so that’s like 8 months that I’ll be wasting on classes just for a hope to get in somewhere, when I can go to lvn school for a year and get it over with… I’m kind of discouraged because on this blog I see a lot of people complaining about how hard it is to find lvn jobs, to find lvn to RN bridge programs, and how they wish they just went straight to RN… But then at the same time I see her in her Mercedes telling me how she’s so happy being an lvn so I dunno…

Anyway I’m just confused LOL, I would appreciate some advice 🙂

Edited by cookie123d

Of course she is going to defend her choice regarding how to pursue the career. You do you. Continue on your path to RN. Should you need to step back to become an LVN first, you will have the LVN to RN bridge option. It is good that you realize the obstacles that may be in front of you. That outlook will help you to approach this in a rational manner. And anyone can buy a used Mercedes. Actually I find it rather foolish to try to maintain a Mercedes on close to (soon to be) minimum wage.

I plan to be an RN, but I chose to become an LPN first. I am 4 months away from graduating. I have 3 little girls, and a day RN program was not practical for me because I take care of my daughters during the day, so I go to school part time evenings and weekends. I love the idea of getting a few years experience as a nurse before getting my RN and BSN. I don't believe it is a step back but rather a stepping stone.

After graduation, I am moving to my home state of NH, where LPNs make about $28 an hour, which I will certainly be happy with.

My nursing instructor worked as an LPN for 10 years before getting her RN and she said she breezed right through the bridge program because of it.

If you are second guessing the journey you are on, there may be a reason for it. If your mom got sick and an LPN is taking care of your mom and she's inspiring you, that may be the answer to your prayers/confusion.

Your pre-requisites have not been taken in vain, you will need them for the RN program when you're ready.

You can always apply for an LVN program and take the entrance exam and see what happens and go from there!

Hope this helps!

Archerlpvn, LPN, LVN

Specializes in Home health, Addictions, Detox, Psych and clinics.. Has 9 years experience.

If you can help it, get your RN first. I know it’s extremely competitive and there’s are huge wait lists and random lottery systems trying to get into an RN program, so the LVN route may be good for you. LVNs in CA have such a huge range in pay. Anywhere from 17$ to 30$+ an hour as staff. I graduated from American career college and so far, it’s been the best decision of my life. I’m a traveling LPN now. That license has allowed me to become independent. And the prereqs you’ve done thus far, won’t be in vain. If you get your LVN, then go right back and get your RN, you could work as a nurse while waiting to get into an RN program and make decent money and gain invaluable experience in the meantime. Some RN programs give priority to those who are already LVNs sometimes too. There are pros and cons to each path. Good luck!

1 hour ago, Archerlpvn said:

If you can help it, get your RN first. I know it’s extremely competitive and there’s are huge wait lists and random lottery systems trying to get into an RN program, so the LVN route may be good for you. LVNs in CA have such a huge range in pay. Anywhere from 17$ to 30$+ an hour as staff. I graduated from American career college and so far, it’s been the best decision of my life. I’m a traveling LPN now. That license has allowed me to become independent. And the prereqs you’ve done thus far, won’t be in vain. If you get your LVN, then go right back and get your RN, you could work as a nurse while waiting to get into an RN program and make decent money and gain invaluable experience in the meantime. Some RN programs give priority to those who are already LVNs sometimes too. There are pros and cons to each path. Good luck!

Oh thanks for the advice! Are you going back to get your RN? Ya I guess what im ganna do is finish up these science classes and also get my cna license cuz alot of lvn school want u to have one just in case. Then ill apply to RN and lvn and whichever takes me first ill go for it!

and btw how did u get your first lvn job? Cuz I been looking at job listings for lvns here in california and all of them say oh u have to have one year experience in this and have certification of this and that

4 hours ago, Angel Jade said:

If you are second guessing the journey you are on, there may be a reason for it. If your mom got sick and an LPN is taking care of your mom and she's inspiring you, that may be the answer to your prayers/confusion.

Ya thats so funny! 2 years ago some lvn lady came to my house too and she was my moms friend. Shes the one in the first place who talked me into becoming a nurse LOL. So I feel like these are signs or something they have to be XD

BSN is fast becoming the standard of entry into the profession. If your life can handle it, it may be best to get your ADN. If you are in dire financial need, then LVN first might be best. After your first year in an RN program, many states allow you to sit for the LVN NCLEX. Lastly, community colleges offer great quality programs at the lowest cost. Private/ tech nursing schools often lower their standards by having fewer entry requirements and Are very expensive. They get away with this because they know there aren’t enough programs to meet the demand of all the people who want to become nurses. I was accepted to an excellent community college program and I didn’t have all As. They consider more than your grades, like your essay and your interview. Go for it! The hardest part is getting in. Give it everything you’ve got, it will be so worth it🌸.

54 minutes ago, Queen Tiye said:

BSN is fast becoming the standard of entry into the profession. If your life can handle it, it may be best to get your ADN. If you are in dire financial need, then LVN first might be best. After your first year in an RN program, many states allow you to sit for the LVN NCLEX. Lastly, community colleges offer great quality programs at the lowest cost. Private/ tech nursing schools often lower their standards by having fewer entry requirements and Are very expensive. They get away with this because they know there aren’t enough programs to meet the demand of all the people who want to become nurses. I was accepted to an excellent community college program and I didn’t have all As. They consider more than your grades, like your essay and your interview. Go for it! The hardest part is getting in. Give it everything you’ve got, it will be so worth it🌸.

May I ask what your grades were? Cuz I got a c in anatomy (would have been a b if it wasnt for all this covid crap) and my nursing counsler at my school (since my GPA is only like 2.7 on top if that) kind of was like ya u might need to find another major,,whoch made me sad. And at my community college they do lottery which god knows if ill get in, and other community colleges in my area are either lottery or multi criteria like yours. But even the multi criteria one your competing against peiple with better GPA than u and better life experience or whatever else theyre lookin for 😞

5 hours ago, cookie123d said:

May I ask what your grades were? Cuz I got a c in anatomy (would have been a b if it wasnt for all this covid crap) and my nursing counsler at my school (since my GPA is only like 2.7 on top if that) kind of was like ya u might need to find another major,,whoch made me sad. And at my community college they do lottery which god knows if ill get in, and other community colleges in my area are either lottery or multi criteria like yours. But even the multi criteria one your competing against peiple with better GPA than u and better life experience or whatever else theyre lookin for 😞

I didn’t apply with any Cs, BUT apply with the grades you have to as many places as you can, it won’t hurt. If you don’t get accepted, find out why. Perhaps retake A&P. Also get the latest Elsevier HESI study guide or TEAS guide. My program required the HESI entrance exam. If you master all the practice questions in that book and are current in A&P knowledge you can score in the low to high 90s which will indicate that you are a good test taker and are likely to pass the NCLEX. Schools want students that will keep that program’s NCLEX pass rate high. They will also consider this when reviewing your application. Try not to worry about the competition. When I was doubtful about my ability to get in, another student told me to apply anyway because everyone is allotted their own grace and mercy. I had a busy-body micro instructor that told me students with Bs don’t get into nursing school. She even went as far as to tell me I should stop at my BSN and not further my studies. Don’t worry about anyone else. Line yourself up with people who tell you how to win and you also be focused on winning. Nursing school is challenging and you need all the positive self-talk you can muster. Please keep us updated🌈.

These are all good answers. You won't have any problems finding employment as an LVN or other nurse title. For me, I didn't want to have a large debt/student loan looming over me for years, although most nurses don't regret paying for an education. Having said that... I know a social worker/case manager who went to an expensive private college, and has been drowning in debt for many years.

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

I went through my LPN program at a college. I'm currently working as a nurse per diem, and I'm in RN school full time. I love the route I chose, as I can still get experience as a nurse, and a LOT of money, while still going through my education and getting where I want to go.

If you can get into an RN program first, definitely go for it. But if the opportunity for LPN arises, it's SO worth it in my opinion. I love being an LPN, and I know I'm going to love being an RN!

Edit- I've been an LPN since October 2019, by the way. Still learning here! 😄

Edited by JabuJabule

20 minutes ago, JabuJabule said:

I went through my LPN program at a college. I'm currently working as a nurse per diem, and I'm in RN school full time. I love the route I chose, as I can still get experience as a nurse, and a LOT of money, while still going through my education and getting where I want to go.

If you can get into an RN program first, definitely go for it. But if the opportunity for LPN arises, it's SO worth it in my opinion. I love being an LPN, and I know I'm going to love being an RN!

Edit- I've been an LPN since October 2019, by the way. Still learning here! 😄

Oh thats so great it worked out for you! Do you work in a nursing home or what kind of job do you do thats per diem? I heard bad things about nursing homes and I am worried

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

2 hours ago, cookie123d said:

Oh thats so great it worked out for you! Do you work in a nursing home or what kind of job do you do thats per diem? I heard bad things about nursing homes and I am worried

I do work in a nursing home! It truly does become like a family thing though. You get so close to your coworkers and patients. I love it so much. Originally I was full time but I went back to school very soon after starting.

There are some downsides, which include heavy (yet doable) workload, emotionally taxing, and lots and lots of charting. But again, if you love the environment you'll deal with it. Heck, today I stayed almost an hour late to finish up. But a good side of nursing homes is the money! I hear they typically pay a bit more than clinics and such.

scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 14 years experience.

I worked as a CNA for 2 years to pay for my LPN from a community college, very affordable, graduated with minimal debt. I worked as an LPN for 10 years, got married, had a couple kids and bought a house. 7 years in I joined an LPN to BSN bridge program. Now I've been working as an RN for the past 3 years. As others have said each thing was a stepping stone to the next thing. Whichever path you take I recommend being an aide in the environment you hope to work in whether that's a medical assistant at an office, a tech in a hospital or a CNA in a nursing home. It's good to develop a reputation of good work ethic early and to know what you are getting in to. They don't pay us well as nurses for nothing! You have to also enjoy some aspects of the job or you won't last. Best money maker for your time: LPN agency nursing (you will need some experience at least 1 year first before doing this).

Best of luck to you!

30K is a HUGE amount of money for an LVN program. Most places it's less than 10k. On either coast and especially around the major cities the cost for schooling will be greatly inflated. The cheapest LPN program I've seen is around 2k and that is in Virgina. I met an LPN in clinicals that got her license there and told me that's what she paid for her program.

I'm not gonna lie some LPNs do become complacent and remain LPNs or take longer to get an RN. Schooling for RN can also be costly and time consuming, especially when one adds a full time job, kids and pre-existing loans from other degrees. If you want to work primarily in home health or LTC there really isn't a huge incentive to go on for your RN because the pay difference isn't too significant. Where I work the hourly pay difference between RNs and LPNs is only $5. Some places I've seen only a $2 per hour difference.

8 months is a really long time for pre-reqs. I've never lived in CA but I imagine competition is that fierce for nursing programs. It's quite similar in nyc too. If you really want or need to make money why not try your hand at an LVN program? Generally no prereqs are needed. I've met a few LPN students in clinicals that actually failed out of RN school or dropped out and got into LPN school.

LPN school can be challenging because the amount of time spent on subjects and clinicals is condensed. My program was 10 months long. That's about as short as it can get (unless there are shorter programs that I don't know of).

LVN is a good career path especially right now. Many of us were fortunate not to lose our jobs in the last few months. And it's pretty hard right now to automate nursing.

For now start small. Start and finish an LVN program before even thinking about a bridge progran should you decide to go. Good luck!

4 hours ago, Mintezia said:

30K is a HUGE amount of money for an LVN program. Most places it's less than 10k. On either coast and especially around the major cities the cost for schooling will be greatly inflated. The cheapest LPN program I've seen is around 2k and that is in Virgina. I met an LPN in clinicals that got her license there and told me that's what she paid for her program.

I'm not gonna lie some LPNs do become complacent and remain LPNs or take longer to get an RN. Schooling for RN can also be costly and time consuming, especially when one adds a full time job, kids and pre-existing loans from other degrees. If you want to work primarily in home health or LTC there really isn't a huge incentive to go on for your RN because the pay difference isn't too significant. Where I work the hourly pay difference between RNs and LPNs is only $5. Some places I've seen only a $2 per hour difference.

8 months is a really long time for pre-reqs. I've never lived in CA but I imagine competition is that fierce for nursing programs. It's quite similar in nyc too. If you really want or need to make money why not try your hand at an LVN program? Generally no prereqs are needed. I've met a few LPN students in clinicals that actually failed out of RN school or dropped out and got into LPN school.

LPN school can be challenging because the amount of time spent on subjects and clinicals is condensed. My program was 10 months long. That's about as short as it can get (unless there are shorter programs that I don't know of).

LVN is a good career path especially right now. Many of us were fortunate not to lose our jobs in the last few months. And it's pretty hard right now to automate nursing.

For now start small. Start and finish an LVN program before even thinking about a bridge progran should you decide to go. Good luck!

Thanks and actually I checked lvn schools here and the 30k one doesnt require any prereques. But alot of the community college lvn programs do actually require some prereqes and require you to have your cna license and nutrition class done and statistics class done and they look at your GPA 😳

Gotcha.

Would you have to take out loans for all or most of that? And all LVN/PN programs require you to have a CNA. If GPA is an issue it would be good to try for a program with no prereqs.

Good luck!

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

On 7/1/2020 at 12:03 AM, Mintezia said:

Gotcha.

Would you have to take out loans for all or most of that? And all LVN/PN programs require you to have a CNA. If GPA is an issue it would be good to try for a program with no prereqs.

Good luck!

Not around me, for my LPN program I didn't need my CNA, nor my RN program at another nearby school.