want to be an lpn

  1. hi everyone....

    my name is shelia, and i'm thinking about going to the local vo-tech to earn the lpn certification. if i start in Aug 05, i should finish in july 06. my questions for you all who are already working:
    was it easy to find a job after completing your program?
    what's the salary range for your area?
    now that you are an lpn, would you recommend someone else to become one?
    are you allowed to make unlimited overtime?

    i just want some info regarding the field..thanks
  2. Visit sheliamd1 profile page

    About sheliamd1

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 38

    12 Comments

  3. by   LPN01112005
    New LPN here, I started out in LTC, which is where most of the opportunities for LPN's are. Here, in GA, there are very limited positions for LPN's in the hospitals and the ones that are available require a couple years' experience. My job hunt was frustrating to say the least, because I didn't think LTC would be for me. Now, however, since I'm working in LTC, I love it. It does has its drawbacks. Probably the largest of the negatives aspects of LTC is that in my facility we don't have a sub-acute/rehab unit, so I'm not getting to expand my skills in the med-surg area very much, which has me second guessing myself quite a bit if a resident "goes bad". I call the MD more quickly than I probably would if I had more experience in dealing with the actual disease processes than I do. On the other hand, I've become very familiar with Congestive heart failure, Alzheimers Disease, COPD, Schizophrenia, and Diabetes since a large majority of our residents are suffering from these disorders. Also on the negative side, LTC is quite often under-staffed and being short just one CNA at night can have a big negative impact on time management and sometimes, quality of care because the residents have to wait longer to have their needs met.

    The positive aspects of my job are: Most of the residents are great, and learning their different personality traits has been interesting. It's hard to communicate with some of them, but the large majority have distinct personalities and communication styles that I soon learned that has made communication much more theraputic. Even the residents with brain damage who are unresponsive to verbal stimuli are a delight for me to take care of. I'm doing a service for them that makes their quality of life better, and that makes me feel great about my job. Another positive aspect of my job is that I take care of the same residents on a daily basis, so time management wise, my job is easy. I rarely have to stay over late, and if I do it is usually to finish charting, or to make out incident reports if someone fell or something. Another plus to working LTC, I work with the same CNA's every time I work. I have great CNA's who actually make my job easier. There is only one CNA who works occassionaly on my shift that calls out a lot making it harder on the rest of us, but she's on probation right now, so I don't expect her to be around much longer.

    My salary is $16 hr, M-F $16.50 weekends and holidays. Much less than RN's make, but more than a hospital or office LPN makes. As far as OT goes, I could pick up several extra shifts on my days off during the pay period if I wanted to, but it's usually on a different shift, so I don't normally pick up days. Alot of nurses do, however. A couple "ride the clock" for an hour or so after their shift ends, which they are not suppose to do, but until Admin. does something to discourage them, I don't see it stopping. OT is there,the amount just depends on what you are willing to do to accumulate it.

    By the way, unless you already have your pre requisite classes (Eng, Math, Psych., etc) out of the way, you probably won't finish your nursing program in a year. One year is the time it takes to finish your actual NSG classes/clinicals. It took me right at two years to finish my LPN from start to finish.

    Whether to become and LPN or not is a personal decision that will be different for each person. Me? I love my job, but I'm older and bedside care is what I love and want to do. If you are looking for a larger more varied job market, my suggestion would be to go on a pursue your RN degree.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by LPN01112005 on Mar 21, '05
  4. by   sheliamd1
    Quote from LPN01112005
    New LPN here, I started out in LTC, which is where most of the opportunities for LPN's are. Here, in GA, there are very limited positions for LPN's in the hospitals and the ones that are available require a couple years' experience. My job hunt was frustrating to say the least, because I didn't think LTC would be for me. Now, however, since I'm working in LTC, I love it. It does has its drawbacks. Probably the largest of the negatives aspects of LTC is that in my facility we don't have a sub-acute/rehab unit, so I'm not getting to expand my skills in the med-surg area very much, which has me second guessing myself quite a bit if a resident "goes bad". I call the MD more quickly than I probably would if I had more experience in dealing with the actual disease processes than I do. On the other hand, I've become very familiar with Congestive heart failure, Alzheimers Disease, COPD, Schizophrenia, and Diabetes since a large majority of our residents are suffering from these disorders. Also on the negative side, LTC is quite often under-staffed and being short just one CNA at night can have a big negative impact on time management and sometimes, quality of care because the residents have to wait longer to have their needs met.

    The positive aspects of my job are: Most of the residents are great, and learning their different personality traits has been interesting. It's hard to communicate with some of them, but the large majority have distinct personalities and communication styles that I soon learned that has made communication much more theraputic. Even the residents with brain damage who are unresponsive to verbal stimuli are a delight for me to take care of. I'm doing a service for them that makes their quality of life better, and that makes me feel great about my job. Another positive aspect of my job is that I take care of the same residents on a daily basis, so time management wise, my job is easy. I rarely have to stay over late, and if I do it is usually to finish charting, or to make out incident reports if someone fell or something. Another plus to working LTC, I work with the same CNA's every time I work. I have great CNA's who actually make my job easier. There is only one CNA who works occassionaly on my shift that calls out a lot making it harder on the rest of us, but she's on probation right now, so I don't expect her to be around much longer.

    My salary is $16 hr, M-F $16.50 weekends and holidays. Much less than RN's make, but more than a hospital or office LPN makes. As far as OT goes, I could pick up several extra shifts on my days off during the pay period if I wanted to, but it's usually on a different shift, so I don't normally pick up days. Alot of nurses do, however. A couple "ride the clock" for an hour or so after their shift ends, which they are not suppose to do, but until Admin. does something to discourage them, I don't see it stopping. OT is there,the amount just depends on what you are willing to do to accumulate it.

    By the way, unless you already have your pre requisite classes (Eng, Math, Psych., etc) out of the way, you probably won't finish your nursing program in a year. One year is the time it takes to finish your actual NSG classes/clinicals. It took me right at two years to finish my LPN from start to finish.

    Whether to become and LPN or not is a personal decision that will be different for each person. Me? I love my job, but I'm older and bedside care is what I love and want to do. If you are looking for a larger more varied job market, my suggestion would be to go on a pursue your RN degree.

    Good luck.
    Thanks so much for responding. You have really answered a lot of questions for me. I plan to pursue my RN degree later. I'm just getting a little anxious, confused, excited, afraid as I get closer to actually starting a program. Yes, I have already completed the prereq for the program. Again, thanks for taking the time to respond.
  5. by   WingedWorker
    Hi shelia!
    I have had my RN for seven years now, and what I can tell you is that I know alot of LPN's and ALL of them are regreting not getting their RN. My best friend is an LPN of 16yrs and is still trying to complete her RN. She is an awsome nurse and has more than twice my experience but makes 7-10 dollars and hour less than me. Not only that, but she is 47 and I'm her boss at 27. NOT FAIR. Your LPN will only take you so far. You can pass pills in a nursing home, or work in a clinic. Most of the clinic LPN's are being replaced by MA's. Please consider getting your RN instead I promise you, It's for the best!!!!


    Thanks,
    Lisa Dellaquila RN
  6. by   Tizwit
    When I was in Nursing school everyone was enrolled in the same program no matter if you only wanted your LPN or going for your RN. If after the first year you wanted your LPN you could take a summer class then sit for the boards then continue with your RN. or if you did not want your LPN you could sit out the summer class. I did the LPN tract so I could have a edge going into Med/Surg Class as well as having some practical experience past clinicals.

    In all the years that my Nursing school has had the LPN tract no one has ever failed the boards or class and anyone that did the LPN tract never failed the RN portion. Great experience.
  7. by   huganurse1203
    Quote from sheliadee1
    hi everyone....

    my name is shelia, and i'm thinking about going to the local vo-tech to earn the lpn certification. if i start in Aug 05, i should finish in july 06. my questions for you all who are already working:
    was it easy to find a job after completing your program?
    what's the salary range for your area?
    now that you are an lpn, would you recommend someone else to become one?
    are you allowed to make unlimited overtime?

    i just want some info regarding the field..thanks
    Im a new lpn and I work 40 to 48 hours a week and theres plenty more hours if I want them... Got a job very first time applying... chances are you will be working in Ltc setting...I would recommend any one to become a lpn Lord knows we need good nurses....If your young you might want to further your education and become an R.N. and so on... Im fifty and a new nurse and I love what Im doing...so I have no intentions of going on. I enjoy being a bedside nurse... its hard work the hours are long your on your feet most of the time and there just arent enough hours in the shift to get it all done.. but you do the best you can and prioritize... Good luck!! :hatparty: :hatparty:
  8. by   RN Zeke
    Quote from Tizwit
    When I was in Nursing school everyone was enrolled in the same program no matter if you only wanted your LPN or going for your RN. If after the first year you wanted your LPN you could take a summer class then sit for the boards then continue with your RN. or if you did not want your LPN you could sit out the summer class. I did the LPN tract so I could have a edge going into Med/Surg Class as well as having some practical experience past clinicals.

    In all the years that my Nursing school has had the LPN tract no one has ever failed the boards or class and anyone that did the LPN tract never failed the RN portion. Great experience.
    Where is your school? If you don't mind sharing tht with me and all the others......Please do!!!! Thanks Cay
  9. by   RN Zeke
    Your school sounds GREAT!!! Please share the location and e-mail to your school..
    Thanks Cay
  10. by   Tizwit
    My School is in Carlsbad, NM its a Branch College of New Mexico State. Here is the Website:

    http://cavern.nmsu.edu/
  11. by   lost_as_an_easteregg
    I am applying to an technical school here which lasts for 12 months. Although I've heard of the many advantages of becoming an RN over LPN, and one day do want to be an RN, this is the best route for me right now. I keep seeing these ads on the net, bridge from LPN to RN online.......can anyone tell me anything about these programs? How do they work? I know it's a long drawn out process, but it's more difficult to get into all the RN schools around here, and I'd also have to do alot of prereq's.
  12. by   Taxminia0311
    Quote from LPN01112005
    New LPN here, I started out in LTC, which is where most of the opportunities for LPN's are. Here, in GA, there are very limited positions for LPN's in the hospitals and the ones that are available require a couple years' experience. My job hunt was frustrating to say the least, because I didn't think LTC would be for me. Now, however, since I'm working in LTC, I love it. It does has its drawbacks. Probably the largest of the negatives aspects of LTC is that in my facility we don't have a sub-acute/rehab unit, so I'm not getting to expand my skills in the med-surg area very much, which has me second guessing myself quite a bit if a resident "goes bad". I call the MD more quickly than I probably would if I had more experience in dealing with the actual disease processes than I do. On the other hand, I've become very familiar with Congestive heart failure, Alzheimers Disease, COPD, Schizophrenia, and Diabetes since a large majority of our residents are suffering from these disorders. Also on the negative side, LTC is quite often under-staffed and being short just one CNA at night can have a big negative impact on time management and sometimes, quality of care because the residents have to wait longer to have their needs met.

    The positive aspects of my job are: Most of the residents are great, and learning their different personality traits has been interesting. It's hard to communicate with some of them, but the large majority have distinct personalities and communication styles that I soon learned that has made communication much more theraputic. Even the residents with brain damage who are unresponsive to verbal stimuli are a delight for me to take care of. I'm doing a service for them that makes their quality of life better, and that makes me feel great about my job. Another positive aspect of my job is that I take care of the same residents on a daily basis, so time management wise, my job is easy. I rarely have to stay over late, and if I do it is usually to finish charting, or to make out incident reports if someone fell or something. Another plus to working LTC, I work with the same CNA's every time I work. I have great CNA's who actually make my job easier. There is only one CNA who works occassionaly on my shift that calls out a lot making it harder on the rest of us, but she's on probation right now, so I don't expect her to be around much longer.

    My salary is $16 hr, M-F $16.50 weekends and holidays. Much less than RN's make, but more than a hospital or office LPN makes. As far as OT goes, I could pick up several extra shifts on my days off during the pay period if I wanted to, but it's usually on a different shift, so I don't normally pick up days. Alot of nurses do, however. A couple "ride the clock" for an hour or so after their shift ends, which they are not suppose to do, but until Admin. does something to discourage them, I don't see it stopping. OT is there,the amount just depends on what you are willing to do to accumulate it.

    By the way, unless you already have your pre requisite classes (Eng, Math, Psych., etc) out of the way, you probably won't finish your nursing program in a year. One year is the time it takes to finish your actual NSG classes/clinicals. It took me right at two years to finish my LPN from start to finish.

    Whether to become and LPN or not is a personal decision that will be different for each person. Me? I love my job, but I'm older and bedside care is what I love and want to do. If you are looking for a larger more varied job market, my suggestion would be to go on a pursue your RN degree.

    Good luck.
    I needed to know what state do you live at that you make 16.00 dollars an hr that is if you dont mind i ask cause it sound pretty go starting rate
  13. by   LPN01112005
    I am in Georgia
  14. by   Bobbye
    I am in the process of attending a Vocational College in Shawnee, OK. And I haven't heard anything about pre-reqs. What is this all about? I feel a little in the dark now. I just assumed that it is all in the LPN program @ this votech. Am I miss informed or what.


    Would love all the replies!
    Thanks, Bobbye

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