LPN VS RMA looking for help

Nurses General Nursing


I am getting much older and have enrolled in an MA program, I have just come in contact with information on an LPN school. Should I go for the gusto and do this program or stick with the MA. What are the big differences between the two jobs. What are some recommendations. I am looking for some advice and possible direction. thank you to all

ohmeowzer RN, RN

2,306 Posts

Specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

go for the LPN.. if you decide you want to be a RN you can always go back. LPN's are nurses and get paid much better than a MA. i really wouldn't waste my time with a MA, you can't advance your self. also with a LPn you have more places to work, as a MA you would work in a dr's office. Go for your LPN !!

Specializes in LTC.


Some LPN students who I go to school with work as a Nurse's Aide. I'm assuming thats what 'MA" means. So while you go to school you can work but don't fall behind on your reading and other homework which can be gruesome at times.

ohmeowzer RN, RN

2,306 Posts

Specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

MA means medical assistant... right?? MA's are different than nurse's aids..

Specializes in LTC.

Oh whoops. My mind has already went to bed. lol I'm like "what the hell is MA.. mental health aide? something aide" duh. lol


9 Posts

it depends on what you want to do. if you want to be a nurse, do LVN. personally, i am studying to become a physician assistant so i became an MA to get health care experience. I have nothing against nurses and nursing (my mom and both grandmas are RNs, all still practicing), but I prefer the medical model verses the nursing model for education.


435 Posts

There are no jobs for MA's and are really underpaid....dont do it! There is several threads about MA's if you do a search. Also you will be able to get a job as a LPN for usually 5+ dollars then a MA if not more also their is plenty of jobs for LPN's and you can always go ahead and get your RN if you want to.

Some places(mostly trade schools) will tell you that a MA is similar to a LPN and it is a flat out lie....some will try to get you to go through the MA program before the LPN which is a waste of $$$ and time. Usually the MA program is only a few months shorter then the LPN

Do the LPN you wont regret it and good luck :)


9 Posts

i've read those threads and i guess i got lucky. I've never had any problems getting a job as an MA. I live in the San Francisco bay and i make about 17 an hour as an MA. the longest time i've been between jobs is two weeks.

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care.

Medical Assistant: trained approx 8 months, able to do basic injections, blood withdrawal, take vital signs, usually trained in medical records as well as coding/billing.

Tend to work in Dr's offices so get the mon-fri perks.

Salary: ranges with area locally here in southern california approx 10$/hr (San Francisco better pay 17/hr, the cost of living is ridiculous, I don't even think you can live very well on that)

LVN (aka LPN) is a nurse: trained for approx a year to 1 1/2 years depending on program you choose.

Trained to take vital signs/medications (administration of and well as benefits/consequences of the drugs), procedures such as inserting foleys/NG tubes, etc. They also are taught to critically think (ex: this med lowers BP, what is their BP now? can they handle this med?) Many can become IV certified after graduation or during school depending on state and are able to administer basic IV fluids and blood products as well.

Work locations tend to be nursing homes, group homes, home health, hospice, dr's offices, clinics, urgent cares and depending on your location, hospitals as well.

Salary: going to range depending on location. The MA says she makes 17/hr in San Francisco, most of my LVN friends up in that area make approx 30/hr.

Whatever the range is, LVN's typically make more than MA's regardless of location.

If you do eventually decide to pursue your RN, they do have LVN to RN bridge programs available. MA's are not given advanced credit when pursuing their RN. Furthermore, LVN's have a closer role to RN's than MA's, so you will be able to determine whether or not nursing is a good fit for you.

Good luck in your decision!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

102 Articles; 27,612 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

I completed a MA (medical assisting) program in 2000, and an LPN/LVN program in 2005.

I never once worked as a medical assistant, even with my training and certificate. Even though I was sending out tons of resumes, the area was flooded with new MAs who were being churned into the job market by trade schools and business colleges every few months with promises of a "great career" and "good money."

The great career in medical assisting never came into fruition for me, and the money being offered to me was so horrible that even a single person would have difficulty supporting oneself on the low hourly pay.

lisamc1RN, LPN

943 Posts

Specializes in LTC/Behavioral/ Hospice.

If your ultimate goal is to be an RN, then start with the LPN program. Otherwise, you are going to end up spending a lot more money on time on this than in necessary. LPNs make more money and have more job choices than MA if you are content to stay with a one year program.

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