Jackson, MS CNA or LPN


Hi, I am going back and forth and driving myself crazy trying to figure out which level of nursing to go into. I was leaning toward LPN and was gong to start a one year program next January because I want to be in the nursing field. I've always wanted to be a nurse but I have two small children and cannot afford to be out of work for longer than a year I kind of also don't think I want the complete responsibility of an RN. But it was brought to my attention today as I kind of expected that LPNs are being phased out except maybe in a nursing home. I am also considering CNA because it is a very short course and they do seem to hire them in hospitals in my area alot which is diffently where I want to work (a hospital), I very much want to work with children or in a newborn, maternity area. But of coarse I know they don't make much money. Money is differently not the reason I want to go into nursing but it is for sure something I have to think about. Any advice? If anyone works in the Jackson, Mississippi area your advise would especially help since that is where I would look for a job. Like maybe where you work, what you do, if you like it, and how much the pay starts at and if they are usually hiring?:uhoh3:


28 Posts

OK, here is my 2 cents. (know that this is coming from an RN, BSN) I would suggest you start the CNA route if the pay will be enough for you. It is a relatively short program before you can get started. Once you are working, you will get a good idea of the different roles of CNA, LPN, and RN in your hospital, as well as the different areas available to work in. Many hospitals have tutuion assistance for those workers who go back to school for nursing. I would suggest working as a CNA for a while, getting used to the job, and then going back to school with the hospitals assistance for your RN.

Some hospitals still utilize LPNs alot, and some are phasing them out, it's a hospital-hospital thing. . .that would definately be something I would check out before deciding to do LPN school, because if you do not think you could be happy in a LTC facility, and your local hospital doesn't hire many LPNs, then you would essentially be wasting a year of school.



10 Posts

Specializes in critical care; hospice.

All I would say is "don't sell yourself short"..If the CNA will put money in your pocket..great! There are still many jobs out there for LPN's as well. You need to do some research to figure out the demand for LPNs in your area. Figure out the cost of CNA vs LPN in the long run. ANother thing to consider...and I know what you said about only "a year". BUt you could get a two year RN degree. AND...in our program...you could get certified as a CNA 1/2 way through..so you could work and continue your RN schooling. I know that it seems like quite a task..but I worked full time..went to school full time and was a single mom. PLease keep up the faith..work your butt off...and then sit back...and reap the rewards with your children. You will never regret it.


520 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

I am from NC but I am an LPN. I work in LTC (9yrs) and although it has its bad days...I think I have pretty decent ones....I don't work with any RN's on my shift..they all work days....but there is only a few things I cant or dont do in my facility....I've done IV's, feeding tubes, wounds,assessments out the wazoo, drawn blood, labs, admissions, discharges, and I work right along with our psych specialists and our facility MD..quarterly we have meetings and go over all psych meds etc. I dont feel like Im any less a nurse b/c my titile isn't RN. I worked just as hard to get my license as any RN Ive ever known or care to know and in my area I know just as much as they do the majority of the time. I do think that alot of LPN's get shortchanged just b/c of the title. I myself do not care to work in a hospital or office setting...I enjoy geriatrics but here is what we nursing home LPN's deal with vs hospital nurses in my area...the hospital is basically divided up into diff sections....L&D/maternity, ortho, surgical, psych, and 2 stepdowns. Ok...in my facility we deal with all kinds of psych pts, stroke pts, cardiac and respiratory pts, post surgical pts (knees, hips, arms, shoulders, feet, ankles, spinals, and internal surg pts), we have had pts on TPN, picc lines, portacaths, chemo/radiation, cancer pts., not to mention we do get to see some of the less heard of diseases like guillian barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis pts, etc etc. TO work in LTC you have to have a broad knowledge base to deal with the multitude of diseases a nursing home pt comes in with...you will never see a pt that comes to a nursing home with only 1 thing wrong with them....therefore its a true adventure and learning experience to see how that pt progresses or declines and what your actions to make their life a little better can do in the long run. We are there to treat...not cure. I started out in housekeeping...then went for my cna and did that for about 6 yrs and finally went for my LPN which took a total of 3 yrs b/c I had no financial aid, no kids at the time, nothing....and spent thousands of dollars that I had to scrimp and save for to get through it. I basically lived off of change in the couch for the year I was in school but it paid off. I would love to go back and get my RN but its more of a financial issue for me and lack of childcare. And also, there have been years worth of rumors that lpns are going to be phased out....not true according to the ncbon. a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. I do agree that you should go get your cna though....it might make or break you and give you insight as to whether or not you even want to proceed further into nursing at all. As rewarding as it is, its also a very stressful job...no such thing as holidays and every weekend off in most cases.....double shifts and overtime are always lurking around and it doesnt matter if you have no kids or 4 kids at home....in some cases it may be seen as abandonment..depending on where you work and your state. Just a lil tid bit there you might get some insight from ....

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

The CNA is the shortest program you can complete to get an eyeball view of what nursing conditions are like. Applying straight to an LPN or RN program is not bad, either, but in most cases, once you start the process, keep in mind that you have to take entrance exams, maybe write essays, etc...and the competition becomes higher. This is not to say that you are not capable. Also does not mean that you can't do it. But, nursing programs in general are more involved, take great dedication to complete.

No matter how you slice it, you will learn a great deal! Good luck!


3 Posts

Thanks everyone for your comments, I'm coming closer to a decision now

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