LVN trade school?


I am not a nursing student quite yet, however, I am looking at different schools in my area. I found one that's near my home & work. It's an 18-month evening & weekend (for clinicals) LVN program. It costs nearly $30,000. It works wonderfully with my schedule because I do work during the day Monday thru Friday. I know that it'll be difficult to work 7 days a week continuously but I remind myself that it's for the well-being & comfortable future for my family.

Basically, I am wondering if LVNs are in demand at hospitals. Or just in home health? I've seen lots of job openings for RNs so I'm not sure if it'll be smart to build up school loan debt to be an LVN if places are only hiring RNs. Should I just go straight for my RN? My concern is if I do, it'll take much longer to do prereqs & to compete for a spot in the very popular program. I'd like to get a career going asap because my current job as an office manager might not last that much longer since things have slowed down a lot at my job and i'm afraid i'll inevitably get laid off.

Should I do this program & then do an LVN-RN bridge program? If I do, I'd like to know that I'll be hired as an LVN while I'm studying to be an RN. I want to continue making a living throughout my schooling because, although my husband works a full-time job, i'm not sure if we can survive on his income alone.

Ideally I'd like to become an LVN and then work as an LVN while continuing my education to become an RN.

I need a game plan & I'm not sure which route to go. Thoughts?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

According to your post's tags, you are in California, a state with a 43 percent unemployment rate for newly graduated nurses during the first 18 months of employment. Contrary to what you've probably heard, there's no nursing shortage.

Do not spend $30,000 for an LVN program. You can receive the same education at a community college, adult education school or regional occupational program for less than $10,000. Believe me when I say you don't want to be caught with $30,000 in student loan debt and no way to repay it.


24 Posts

I had a feeling I was going to be told that. I guess I'm just torn because those other schooling options would require me to not have a day job since those programs are done during weekdays (the days & hours that I work currently). I was hoping there'd be a smart, efficient way to be able to work my current job AND go to school. Also, my job right now allows me to bring my 6-month-old with me to work so that's my other reason for hoping to find an evening program. I don't know If I'll be able to find a babysitter throughout the week if I had to go to school during the day.


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Avoid!! Avoid!! Avoid!!

LVNs have an even harder time than RNs when trying to find work, and it's EXTREMELY rare to see them in hospitals. For example, out of curiosity, I looked at Sutter's postings for LVNs versus RNs. For RNs, there are over 600 postings throughout CA (forget how few are open to new grads). For LVNs, 41, and most are home health or in clinics.

It is NOT worth spending $30K on this. Unfortunately, these trade schools prey on people in situations like yours, where you need that flexibility and need to be marketable, but most of their programs cannot offer much for marketability. Even those who obtain their RN education through trade schools have a hard time finding work because of program reputation.

Have you looked at any community colleges or universities? Many of them have childcare available, sometimes very cheap or free depending on your income. My son attended the daycare at my university (SSU), and it was nice because we could commute together, and I could peek over the fence and say hi if he was playing outside. :)

If you're looking to work soon, you might consider getting a CNA certification, which requires far less schooling (and you can do it through the Red Cross in a month). Many RN programs are starting to require this, anyway, and the experience (and NETWORKING) can help if you do pursue your RN later (I would urge you to go with BSN over ADN in CA).

Has 9 years experience.

I was laid off from my job in 2013. I quickly signed up for a 15 month LVN program. I can say that it was the best decision I have ever made. I'm hoping to be hired at a Psych hospital once my background is clear. The starting wage is $6.50 more than I made at my last job. I'm working on my prereqs right now online and I'm going to apply for the bridge program next August. If you feel like you need to start working asap, then go or the LVN. Sure, jobs can be hard to find, but not impossible. Just go for it. Make a plan and stick to it.


24 Posts

I think i saw somewhere on your profile that you attended a school in Southern California? Which one, may I ask? The one I've been considering is North-West College. Have you, by chance, heard any positive/negative things about it? I've just recently found out about this school.