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LVN or RN?

California   (2,001 Views 9 Comments)
by sarahlm sarahlm (New Member) New Member

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Hi, I am new to this forum and I have a dillema. I dont know where to post it so I hope this is the right spot. But my question is this: I have the opportunity to get my LVN now in a one year program. My parents are going to help with the costs, which is nice, since Im 33. But I am unsure if I should continue taking my prereqs for an RN program, which I wont graduate from until Im at least 36. I am waitressing now and I want out ASAP from the restaurant bus.(I have wanted to be a nurse forever, but had other issues to deal with.)

My thinking is that I can get my LVN and start working and then go into a LVN-RN program after I finish the pre reqs.

I just dont want to wait. I feel like Im not getting any younger, and my Dad said they may not be able to help me with costs if I dont do this now, which is okay, but does sort of puts the pressure on me to go to the LVN program.

Unfortunately I dont know of any schools in my area with an RN program with no waiting list or prereq req. so I cant do that either.

I am just confused. Is it worth it to get my LVN? Are those LVN-RN programs wait listing too? ( I live in southern CA) Is it better in the long run to just keep waitressing and get the better degree first?

I know this post is rambling but if anyone can help it would be so appreciated.

Mostly I want to know if its even worth it to get my LVN?

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41 Posts; 1,312 Profile Views

Well here is my two cents. Get the RN, not that I don't know of some great LVN's, but from what I know the LVN schools are quite pricey!! Like $20,000 or so because they are private schools. The community colleges are much more economical to get an RN, I believe it is @ $23.00 a unit. What a steal!!But as a rule you can not get on a waiting list for the RN program without your prereq.'s and this all takes time. If you have the time I'd go for the RN. But if you have the $$ get the LVN then do the bridge, the C.C. I went to had a very short bridge LVN to RN waiting list if you do choose that route. And I think (but I've been wrong before) that you make @ $10.00 more/hr as an RN.

By the way I went back to school at the age of 38 and at the age of 42 became an RN. You have plenty of time-- your just a pup!! Good Luck in what ever you do!!

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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I completed an LVN program at a private, expensive vocational school in Southern California. Even if you do select the LVN route, I would urge you to return to school to earn your RN. The RN license will ensure more job security, because the numerous private LVN programs in Southern California are churning out new graduates every 3 months. If all of these new grad LVNs are entering the job market every year, it will depress the wages severely. I know of some Southern California LVNs who only earn $17 or $18 hourly, which is pitiful when you account for the cost of living. You'll earn more money, and have an easier time finding work as an RN.

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27 Posts; 1,394 Profile Views

I don't know where exactly you live in southern califoria, but there's the north orange county ROP LVN program that costs almost nothing. I've heard good things about it, but I believe you must take a course before you begin and do well. So, if you don't want to wait then I'd say try ROP then work while you finish up the rest of your RN pre-reqs and apply to one of the cc that offers LVN-RN. From what I hear, the wait for an LVN is half the time or less to be accepted(maybe a semester or two). It could be an option.

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107 Posts; 4,489 Profile Views

My wife has been talking almost pre-nursing and general classes at Mt. SAC and now Rio Hondo but her core GPA is not too good. So the CC is giving her hard time and ask her to take more classes or has to convince to the dean who sort of refuse to get her in the RN program. Well she is not young, early 40s and really want to be a nurse fast maybe as an LVN first. Any good suggestion of good LVN or even better RN schools that are not too expensive is greatly appreciated. WE have some money from our home equity and a few bucks that we can use but not a lot. She had worked as a OR tech earlier so she has strong experience in OR. Thanks

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LVN-RNhopeful has 9 years experience and specializes in ED/TELE.

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If you can complete your LVN I say you have nothing to lose. But don't stop there - continue working on your pre-req's for you RN. Depending on what school you apply to there are waiting lists for the LVN-RN programs, however, they are not nearly as long as the traditional RN programs. You have to complete the same pre-req's regardless of which route you go to complete your RN, so you might as well, get them out of the way.

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HeartsOpenWide is a RN and specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

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Well here is my two cents. Get the RN, not that I don't know of some great LVN's, but from what I know the LVN schools are quite pricey!! Like $20,000 or so because they are private schools.

Community Colleges offer LVN programs too. It is only 20/unit right now. My local CC's LVN program is only 49 units...49X20=$980.00...not including books of course, and the program is only three semesters,(last semester is an intense summer course) The only pre-req is to be at college level English and have your CNA or have taken their basic patient care course which is 6 units ($120.00)

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