LPN to RN or PTA?



I have been a nurse (LPN) since 2006. Working on either subacute floor or sometimes long term care floor. I'm feeling a bit burnt out. I have been taking the pre-requisites towards my RN. I'm at the point where I can begin applying to RN programs but recently I have found that I have an interest in becoming PTA (physical Therapy Assistant). I understand that it would be more of a lateral move then an upperwards move. I feel like I would be happier having more one on one time with patients verses rushing around trying to tend to 21+ or sometimes 30+ pt's- making sure all meds, tx, paper work etc is done and it would be a different type of stress. The PTA's that I work with, seem really happy in there job etc. I would have no weekends, holidays and my hours would be more flexible during the day. I'm sick of waiting for my replacemtent to stroll in LATE or not show up etc.

I guess I don't want to feel like I am making a mistake. or going backwards. Pay wise, would I be going backwards? Is this a bad career choice at the age of 35? or since I have worked so hard to get my LPN - should I just go for the RN, since I will have more choices in jobs with that? what to do, what to do.....

Thanks - sorry if this post doesnt make much sense, had another very hard stressful day at work.


157 Posts

From what I have seen if you can get into PTA school you should jump on it. Most nurses are stressed and unhappy


38,333 Posts

There would be no progression unless you went forward to become a PT. Decades ago, there were other students in my prereq classes who were trying to go to PT school eventually and their program was more competitive than nursing. Unless there is something specific about PT that draws you to it, you can get some of that one on one by doing home health. I would try that as an LPN for a change of pace. You can do shifts once a week or every two weeks just to see what it is like.


157 Posts

I know PTAs and OTS that make in the 60's. They are in management and management in that field is WAY more laid back then nursing. Nice cushy job from what I have seen

er bickford

1 Post

You sound just like me, its funny really because I am in the same tug of war. More money or more happiness is what it seems to boil down to, honestly I think I am going to pick happiness (PTA); because at the end, when all is said and done, I would like to know I enjoyed my life. Plus you can learn to live on any budget, PTA's don't do that poorly. Good luck in your decision.

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