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LPN vs MA....which would you choose?


If you have to choose one over the other (since I've been told that Medical Assistants are in high demand now) .. Which would be hired faster? Make more money in your place of employment? :uhoh3:

virmm1, LPN

Specializes in LTC.

Before I went to LPN school I was looking at my options. I orginally checked out a school for MA, $8,000 for a yr of school, with the prospect of $7.00 hrly. I was shown the clinical aspects of what a MA would do. injections, vital signs, etc. Call me crazy but the clinical stuff looked like fun to me. Next thing I did was check LPN school, at that time tuition was $800.00 plus books and supplies for a yr of school. This was in 94. Starting pay in long term care facilities ws $9.25 w/ $.25 shiff diff.

With a MA education of clincial and clerical if later you want to go to nursing school you have to start over. With LPN education you can go on to become an RN if you want to.

We had a MA in the drs office I worked in, She had the same job duties as the LPNs but ws paid $2-$3 less an hr.

In VA as far as I know MAs can't work as caregivers in long term care. Not that they would want to.

MAs are also taught the clerical aspects of working in a drs office, LPNs are


Both MAs and LPNs get the same kind of disrespect from pts and their family members.

Good luck w/ whichever decision you make for your career.

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

MAs are likely to be hired in offices because they are cost-effective.

Not worth it to me. I looked into MA school a few years ago, then looked at the want ads. Didn't see any MA ads, saw plenty of LPN and RN ads.

It depends on what you want to do. If you want to be a general doc assistant in an office and file insurance, learn basics of xrays, lab, vital signs, Jack of all trades in an office environment....then MA is for you.

BUT I know quite a few MA's who are now in nursing school and regret wasting time in MA at all. Nothing transfered, it was a dead end job for them, they weren't qualified to do anything but work in an office. (which is FINE if that is what someone wants.)

I don't know any nurses who want to be MA's.The roles are quite different. A nurse has a license to practice, MA's assist docs under the doc's license.

Good luck whatever you decide.

txspadequeenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor. Has 20 years experience.

I have done both. I was a MA first then got stuck with a dead end job. i went back to nursing school and became a LVN. I make about $11.00 more a hour and have more versatility. Plus the level of education is so much more in depth. I thought as a MA I knew what I was doing,but I didnt. I did value my time as a MA, I learned alot. I was able to buy my first house and didnt worry much about money for the bills. My opinion go for the Nurse status , the programs are about the same amount of time, but you will benifit from being a Licensed nurse 100 times over.:) Good Luck to you:)

I agree. I was a MA for like 4 years and got nowhere. I am a LPN now and have a lot more options. LPN is the way to go. RN is better though. :o

I have to agree. I wasted 6600 dollars going to MA school back in 96 and never used it. Never got a job in the field when I was done. Now I am in the 1st semester of a 4 semester Rn program and I know I will be making good money when I am done!

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