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LVN Before RN school?

Has 10 years experience.

I know this topic gets hit a lot on here A LOT but some of the posts I've read are like back in 2014 and older so I'm curious what people think about the whole LVN to RN Bridge. I live in the Inland Empire (Riverside,CA) and so I plan on applying at Valley, Riverside Community and Chaffey but from what I've overheard people at the bookstores talk about their "best friend's sister's cousin's nephew twice removed" is that it's about a 3-5yr wait to get in to the program. I'm willing to wait but my question is, like what am I supposed to do while I wait? should I be taking classes just to look "active" or would it be 'smart' to apply and if I don't get in maybe see if I get in to the LVN program and then bridge over? I spoke to my mentor about this but given that she's a RN herself she's pretty much adamant I should go straight into RN school.

any advice would help I'm just about halfway done with my pre-reqs so it's things that are coming into mind now making the wheels in my head turn.

Devon Rex, ADN, BSN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Rehab, Ortho-Spine, Med-Surg, & Psych.

Hello Zoey's mom,

First off, you need to determine whether you want to be an LVN first or RN.

Second, start looking for nuring programs that are accredited by Search ACEN Accredited Nursing Programs in your area. The LVN and RN positions have different levels of scope of practice. The California Board of Registered Nursing will help you understand what those are.

Some people find it better to get their "feet wet" by becoming an LVN first, get some experience, to later get more education to become an RN. Others, like me, went straight for the ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing), which let me sit for my NCLEX-RN. It is a personal choice that should be taken based on your situation and what works for you. RNs earn more, but they are held to higher standards too.

I don't live in California, but in Florida... LVNs (or LPNs ... as they call them here) mostly work in nursing homes, rehab facilities, and correctional settings. Some still make it into the hospital, but not most. New graduates (RNs) still may have a difficult time getting into a hospital prior to getting experience elsewhere, but that's besides the point.

RNs have a higher level of responsibility. If you feel comfortable with sciences: do well with biology, A&P, microbiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology... you should definitely go for the ADN. If you struggle with these, perhaps getting hands on experience as an LVN might give you a stronger foundation to go to the next level.

The ADN is not easy for most people (myself included... I switched from Accounting to Nursing at 39). But my persistence and family support helped me through.

I would not just take any classes "just to look active". I would visit an academic adviser at your local community college, with your unofficial transcripts, to determine which general education classes you still need. Inquire about the estimated waiting period to get into their nursing program. Do not ask friends... ask the academic adviser. If it's too long of a wait for you... do not hesitate to look at other institutions (that are accredited) as well. Employers do not really care where you get your ADN degree, as long as your program is accredited and you have a valid license. Surely, once you land a job, you need to perform with competence.

Best wishes!

lamadredezoey

Has 10 years experience.

Hi! thanks for replying means a lot. I actually already work in a hospital and honestly I would much rather be a RN over a LVN any day not that there's anything wrong with being an LVN at all but I've been told by some of the nurses at work that you don't want to take the NCLEX twice lol they're like just NO! DON'T! lol

I've looked into other institutions but I tend to put a lot in mind. I know I still have a bit of ways to go before I can apply but, I have a one year old at home who by the time I finish the last of my pre-reqs I anticipate on her being 2 going on 3 (lord help me lol) but because the inland empire is so I guess you can say "secluded" it's like I'm limited to the schools around me unless I drive out an hour into LA County which I don't oppose to but my job is in San Bernardino (10min from home) and that's another factor I take into consideration like, should I even work full time? my family kind of depends on me working so it's not like I can quit and be a full time student and given that i'm already in a hospital setting i think it would be easier for me to get into an RN position, i don't know, I assume so.

Its like, I know what the "right answer" is for me but it's one of those like AHHH I JUST WANT TO BE IN A CLINICAL SETTING ALREADY INSTEAD OF ADMITTING!! lol (thanks for letting me get all that out of my chest--I apologize for my rambling guess that's what happens when you work the night shift lol)

Hi! thanks for replying means a lot. I actually already work in a hospital and honestly I would much rather be a RN over a LVN any day not that there's anything wrong with being an LVN at all but I've been told by some of the nurses at work that you don't want to take the NCLEX twice lol they're like just NO! DON'T! lol

I've looked into other institutions but I tend to put a lot in mind. I know I still have a bit of ways to go before I can apply but, I have a one year old at home who by the time I finish the last of my pre-reqs I anticipate on her being 2 going on 3 (lord help me lol) but because the inland empire is so I guess you can say "secluded" it's like I'm limited to the schools around me unless I drive out an hour into LA County which I don't oppose to but my job is in San Bernardino (10min from home) and that's another factor I take into consideration like, should I even work full time? my family kind of depends on me working so it's not like I can quit and be a full time student and given that i'm already in a hospital setting i think it would be easier for me to get into an RN position, i don't know, I assume so.

Its like, I know what the "right answer" is for me but it's one of those like AHHH I JUST WANT TO BE IN A CLINICAL SETTING ALREADY INSTEAD OF ADMITTING!! lol (thanks for letting me get all that out of my chest--I apologize for my rambling guess that's what happens when you work the night shift lol)

Definitely go for your RN if it's truly what you want to be. Its obviously the main goal of yours so why not go straight for it? I say this in almost every post I see like this that I chose to be an RN over LVN that was a 1 year program. My family was somewhat annoyed that I didn't just choose the "easier" route and go into the workforce as early as possible after graduating from high school.

But I ignored my family and went after my dream, and now after taking 2 years w/summer of 60 credits of prerequisites I will be starting my BSN program this fall. So I can tell you now it will be the most rewarding feeling you've ever felt to know that you have accomplished your #1 goal after some commitment and hard work and the payoff will be tremendous.

And I could also tell you that my family is very proud of me now for getting into nursing school and they regret trying to continuously suggest to me the LVN route in the beginning when they had a lot of doubt that becoming a RN would be too hard for me.

So just get on the prerequisites now and become a CNA if you have to because you could pick up a flexible schedule and still work while be in school.

Edited by KaTStudentNurse

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