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LVN Wants to Challenge NCLEX

Nurse Beth   (593 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am an LVN  and I have been working for 15 years. I want to became an RN but can’t leave my job at least for 2 years. Can I challenge the board to became an RN? I will like to do my bachelors.

Dear LVN,

You may be in luck if you are from California because the LVN 30-unit option is available to any LVN licensed in the state of California. The California BRN recognizes the value of real world experience that LVNs bring. The LVN 30-unit option is a one year program for the applicant with a valid California Vocational Nurse license who wishes to quickly meet the requirements to take the NCLEX-RN as a non-graduate. 

Find an "LVN 30-Unit Option" program at an accredited California school, usually a community college or technical school.  You will need to meet any pre-requsite courses.

Know that most states outside of California may not issue an RN license to a 30-unit California nurse if you ever plan to move. You may not be accepted by colleges or universities for an advanced degree.

If your end goal is to get your Bachelor's in nursing, then you must take the traditional route by taking a BSN nursing program. Because the LVN 30-unit option is a non-graduate status, you are not awarded an academic degree. Getting your BSN is strongly recommended, because when the day comes that you no longer are able to practice at the bedside, you will need your BSN to qualify for non-bedside positions.

My understanding is that once you hold a non-graduate RN license, you may not be able to change that status later. So really weigh the pros and cons and make the best choice for you.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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