LPN Graduate!!! (But no experience ...)


  • Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 2 years experience.

We just graduated last night as LPN's. :balloons: Woo hoo! I'm in a laddered program so we now have one week off then start right into the RN program. Some are stopping at LPN and some are going on. We just have to pass the LPN NCLEX during our 1st semester which means by the end of December.

Here's what has me stressed. Of course I just finished a very tough LPN program -- three semesters back to back. I passed with very good grades. I have faith in myself with the NCLEX. So I feel like I'm very "booksmart". But I don't feel like I'm clinically prepared. I've never worked in healthcare before. I absolutely loved our clinical time and felt very comfortable -- but of course you have an instructor by your side :)

I want more hands on experience and now have the opportunity to work weekends or whatever as an LPN as I finish up my RN program over the next year. I know that patient contact is what I need for my self confidence as a licensed professional. I would love to work in one of the local nursing homes but I feel really strange going in off the street as an LPN when I've never worked as an aide. We did a semester of clinicals at a nursing home but that's it. Has anyone else been in this position and how did it work out? I really wish I had had the opportunity to start as a CNA. I would be so much more comfortable. Maybe this is just a normal feeling --- "am I really ready for this????"

Has 10 years experience.

Hi you won't know if your ready until you give it a try.I completed a course with two weeks hands on experience and went straight to work in a nursing home soon after.I was terrified at first as i felt incompetent but then i realised you just do all the basic stuff you learn in class like make beds,patient baths,feedings etc.So don't sweat it you'll do great.In a few weeks you'll feel like you've been doing it for years.Good luck to you.


412 Posts

Specializes in Operating room..

I am in the same boat. I finished my LPN in December, was not able to work because I wanted to go to the RN program. I am starting this week the RN program. I am the only one with NO experience (none before school either). I know how you are feeling.


1,007 Posts

Specializes in Level III cardiac/telemetry.

Congrats! I'm still in my LPN program, but wanted to throw out something else. Have you thought about working at a hospital? I know they usually spend more time preceptoring with an experienced nurse, and a lot of times have mentors to help you more than you would get at a nursing home. I've heard horror stories of new nurses being thrown to the wolves at nursing homes and being basically on their own. I know it would terrify me! I just finished my first day as a CNA. I got the job specifically for the reason you mentioned - getting the hands-on experience.


50 Posts

Hi there,

I was in the same situation this summer. I am in a two year RN program but because we are front loaded we can sit for the LPN Board after our Freshman year. I have been working this summer as a GPN, I take my boards next week. I had never worked in healthcare either. This summer I have been employed at a local hospital on the med/surge floor and the experience has been invaluable. I have had a great precepter and it has been a nine week orientation process. I am on my own starting labor day weekend. I know the experienced nurses are there for me if I need assistance. I say go for it!!!! I start my senior year on 9/5 and I actually feel like a nurse and am ready for my senior clinicals. Don't let your inexperience deter you from applying for a job. You have the smarts and the ability and you can do it!!!!


4,177 Posts

everyone has been there at some point - excellent advise to work in hospital setting will give you a lot of good hands on experience that will serve you well in your rn courses

added plus you will be first to be hired as newly grad rn because of your employment with hospital and you may get some financial aid from employer


135 Posts

Don't worry! I was in your same situation too. I never worked as an aide and wen't straight into health care from LPN graduation.(Well, not right after graduation. Where I'm from you have to pass NCLEX and have your license in hand before you can practise as a nurse.) It's not a legal term to use GPN as far as offficial titles go. I do think that RN's can work as a graduate nurse though.

Anyway.. don't sweat it. You might feel a little like a fish out of water at first, but your training will kick in and you will do fine. Of course, you're not going to know everything there is to know, but you'll learn. Be patient with yourself and I promise you're going to do just fine. I've been an LPN for 8 years and there's still stuff I'm learning. I will give you an example of my first day on the job. The ADON at this LTC facility said "Hey you, go straight cath Mrs. X in room XYZ, right now!" I about freaked. I thought -- "You're asking ME?? The new girl??" I had been there all of about 30 minutes. But I went ahead and did it, I did just fine and it boosted my confidence. So push through the scary stuff, and get help where you need it. Don't be afraid to ask. Most people are quite willing to help you along. You have to start somewhere! So GO FOR IT!!


50 Posts

That is interesting that you can't be a GPN but can be a GN. Where I am from you can apply for a temporary license which is good for 90 days as you await for the date to take your test. You can only get one temporary license but it is a legal term to be a GPN, it is illegal to state that I am LPN until I pass my boards.


24 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 2 years experience.

You are all so full of excellent advice and support. Exactly what I need. Thanks so much -- I just love this site!

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