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Joined: Sep 22, '05; Posts: 9,297 (39% Liked) ; Likes: 8,219

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  • Aug 2

    Quote from Dental Hygienist
    Hi. I'm just "reviving" this thread because I was about to start one that is very similar.

    My questions: What is the typical training of a LPN? I know it varies state to state and program to program, but is it generally 1 year, 2 years? If it is 2 years, I cannot understand why someone wouldn't just do a ADN program? Unless it is just the competativeness to get in?

    It is my understanding that LPNs make less money and must be supervised by RNs; is this true?

    I searched nursing jobs as part of my career research and was surprised to find that many jobs posted a starting pay for LPNs of let's say $19 an hour, but for a RN applying for the same position maybe $23 an this pretty normal that for (seemingly) the exact same position a RN would get paid more just by virtue of being a RN?

    Also, can LPNs work alone on a shift, or does there always have to be a RN to "supervise" them? I know it all varies state by state but I'm just looking for general information here.

    Thanks, and I mean no disrespect to either profession by my questions, I sincerely do not comprehend the difference other than title and pay.
    Most typical LPN programs are between 9-12 months; the ones that are 24 months (at least on my side of the world) are part time ones, but the hours amount to the same. Yes, we make less money, and we have to be suprevised by an RN. However the facilities may be different; maybe the RN may be available by telephone, for example. I have worked alone on a home care case, but I was to call the agency RN if there was any difficulty (never experienced it, so, I had no reason to contact her). Some require that at least one RN is on the grounds as a supervisor, making it very possible for the LPN to be the only nurse on the floor.

    There are many reasons why a person may choose an LPN program over an RN; the main one being what you mentioned, the competitiveness to get in. Other reasons are that people wish to see if they can handle nursing at all, graduating quicker, not being able to pass the college level pre-requisites for the RN programs, wishing to work faster, or like me, who does not desire to become an RN. Also, some states allow an RN student to sit for the LPN exam at some point during their program, so that they can work as nurses while continuing their RN degree.

    In most cases, vocational schools train LPNs in the necessary skills to function in their title, but there are more bridge programs that are allowing people to continue with their education to become RNs.

    While it is true that we work under the auspice of an RN, we are also under the auspice of a physician, dentist, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, but we are not autonomous, so to speak.

    An RN would definitely get paid more because of her advanced education, unless she holds both, her LPN and RN license, which I know plenty of people that do this. But the disadvantage of this is that you are held to the responsibility and accountability of the HIGHER license if something goes down, because you are supposed to KNOW.

    In my hospital clinic, for example, I usually work the late clinic, but I can't do it alone...I must have an RN present with me in case there are any problems.

  • Jul 22

    I am no longer a student, but I do enjoy reading about anatomy at this point, where I can make some associations about the disease processes I teach about. One of the subjects that always plagued me is metabolism. After glucose breaks down to pyruvic acid, I am lost. I want to know this because I somehow see how this can affect diabetes and other illnesses. Does anyone have essential information to explain this process to me?

    Greatly appreciated!

  • May 25

    Is this an LPN or RN program? I ask this because I hear of such schedules more for LPN programs; and they usually run for about 15-18 months. If it can fit into your schedule, and you are in school alternate weekends, it can probably work. No matter how you slice it, you must have excellent prioritization and time management skills. Best of luck to you!

  • May 14

    Quote from SoyLMT
    I dont see why not in some settings. I was working as a CMA until recently now I am working as a PCT since entering LPN school. I guess your role as an MA varies from setting to setting. Some offices only will require such skills as Vitals and rooming patients taking messages and light paperwork(which you are fully capable of doing), Other offices require a lot of paperwork and front office duties that may be more challenging but you are capable of learning that. The only problem I can forsee is if you get into an office with a lot of procedures or if they require some billing and coding skills. Many settings require phlebotomy, injections (IM, SC, & ID), running basic labs, preparing specimens, and then assisting with procedures (this can vary depending on practice). Some offices are more than willing to train and are ok with no certification, but now you are seeing more and more offices who are wanting people with some formal training and certification (I think this is a liability or insurance issue). But I would just do some research locally and see what the requirements are. I always say it cant hurt to apply. Good Luck!
    I agree totally. In fact, now that I think of it, I remember going to the doctor once about 12 years ago, and the medical assistant there told me that she had almost completed an LPN course but had to drop out, and was able to obtain this position. Since she had already learned in fundamentals of nursing about administering medications, had a pharmacology class and many other considerations, it was quite easy to get that job. I even think I remember her saying that she 'challenged' their certification. Hey, I'm sure she would have been able to, if allowed.

    My only advice is if the OP decides to obtain formal training, get it from a community college (in my area, there is a CMA program in the community colleges continuing education program that currently charges about $1000, which really isn't that bad), where the cost of the program is much more reasonable. Do not get sucked into paying thousands of dollars and the story that they will be replacing nurses or become like nurses. Many of those who believed it were deep in debt, unable to obtain a position, or if they actually did, it paid a great deal less than expected and were unable to repay those loans.

  • May 1

    Did me much justice. Easy, reader friendly, and got As for all of my care plans. Good luck!

  • Apr 25

    I have to ditto what Fiona said. I am not in charge, not interested in it for any reason in the world. I love working in the medical field, especially now that I have a better understanding on what is going on. I enjoy teaching patients and no day is boring. I don't believe I can handle the additional responsibility of being an RN, but I am a great team player and do my best.

  • Apr 3

    Graduating from ANY nursing program takes commitment and sacrifice. This is your first semester after many years of being away from school. It is natural to be overwhelmed and feeling pulled in several directions. I think time management is the key, here. Get a calender where you can write (in PENCIL; I suggest because things change) what assignments are due and what to study and do your best to stick to it. If you see that you have 9 days before a certain test, then, you may break down what you will study and when, always leaving space where you can go back to the more difficult portions that challenged you. Start by studying the hardest, but try not to stay must move on to other key points. Also, I purchased Saunders Comprehensive Guide to NCLEX-PN. Personally, I found that book to be a bit overwhelming for studying for the boards, but was great for school, because it summarized the material in a short page or two and has pyramids next to MAIN points that both, NCLEX and school may be trying to get across to you. Best of luck!

  • Dec 6 '17

    If you are passing, then, try and stick with it. And, if none of the professors are specifically targeting you, then, even better.

    I hated nursing school, also. For me, it was a nightmare that I have no intention of visiting again. But, I played their game, stayed to myself and got the heck out of there.

  • Sep 20 '17

    Most schools are vocational schools, where they don't offer college credits, but a certificate. If a vocational school graduate wants to become an RN, she would have to start from scratch, taking college level english, psychology and anatomy classes, which, are on a deeper level than the anatomy learned in vocational schools.

    My school is trying to create a bridge program so, we had to take RN pre-requisites before applying for candidacy, so that once a student graduates from there, they will have most of the pre-requisites needed to enter into an RN program. I still graduated with a certificate, but I have transferable credits if I choose to enter into an RN program (or actually, I can transfer them to many other programs, such as physical and occupational therapy, or to a science major). It all depends on your school.

  • Sep 12 '17

    I found NCLEX-PN to have been difficult, once I got to question #60 and beyond. The computer shut down at 85, and I wasn't sure that I passed. I still remember a great deal of the questions to this day, and I tested in 2006. In retrospect, I was more prepared than I thought I was, and I was able to think through the questions that were difficult. Had only one math question (the first one). I did have several pick all that apply in a row, and that flipped me out.

    Hindsight is 20/20. I remember reading a post 6 months later where a person said to look at the select all that apply as true/false questions, and not to look at all of the selections as a whole. Look at each choice and say to yourself "Is this true in relation to the question or is it false?" If it is true, select it, if not, do not choose that one. I passed, anyway, but it would have made my life easier had I actually saw it that way, then. I wish I remembered who posted that, this person gave pearls of wisdom, and I would have thanked that person perfusely. Good luck and as someone else said "study smart".

  • Sep 7 '17

    Quote from tnrose
    wow, you remember "everything" you learned in 06! I would like to figure out how to do that!
    If you are referring to me, well, I can't say that I remember everything, but because I work in a clinic, therefore, because I have to do a great deal of teaching, I have to continue to update myself often. As others mentioned, it may become easier because of the application of what you learned. I don't believe that all of what is learned in the textbook has applied to real world nursing, but what makes me remember much is that I see more of what people are NOT doing. Sometimes, you understand why, other times, you don't.

    People (employees, mostly) laugh at me, but recently, I ordered Dummies/Complete Idiot's books on Diabetes, HTN, Heart Disease, Menopause, Nutrition and even Prescription drugs. At this point in my life, I don't need the intimate details, but these books give a wonderful overview (at least in my opinion) on what is important in a reader friendly format with excellent bibliographies for further reading. I use these things as references for my teaching. I deal with a population that is not savvy or educated, and I want to be able to teach them about the disease processes, treatments and outlooks in a simple way without losing it's meaning. I remember so many of the snipets mentioned in these books that I easily incorporate this information into my teaching and many of the patients look for me when they come because they know I will explain in a way that they will understand. And, in many cases, I recommend these same books to them and even tell them that this is where I got my information from. Many have listened! I also make copies of easy to read pamplets to give out. All of these things help me to remember because each time I teach it, or read it again, I am reinforcing my own understanding of the material.

    In addition, most hospitals have computers that have Micromedix, or other resources that can be referred to in a pinch. I have the time to look up information (especially medications), that I am not familiar with, and before I call a patient in, I review the chart and if I see a disorder, med, lab or treatment don't remember or know, I quickly review it before I call the person in. If it is that bad, I have the information up on a screen before me (the patient doesn't see it) and read from that. I may sound like a college professor sometimes, but it can very well be the first time I actually came across this information. Because of this, I gained confidence that in most cases, I can access the information I need. There are modernized things available that have not been before, such as PDAs, pocket drug digests and computer downloads that are better accessed than before, right at our fingertips. What school does do is teach you (although you don't realize it until later) that what you don't know, you are taught to look up. This is why they teach you the importance of obtaining information from reputable sites ending in .org, .edu rather than .com. Nursing on any level is a working progress, and the reason I believe it is called a 'practice' is just that...we are literally practicing as we go.

  • Sep 6 '17

    Another consideration is to purchase "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Prescription Drugs". I discovered this book the other day while surfing The Complete Idiot series does explain things in layman terms for the novice to comprehend, and I swear by these books for basic knowledge from astronomy to religion (I love studying things independently). I also had a horrible pharmacology instructor. This witch was also the program director of my LPN program. Basically, she taught NOTHING. I had to take a seperate review class specifically geared in pharmacology just to pass the boards. Since then, pharmacology has become an obsession for me (maybe that was a blessing in disguise), and I have spent money on buying used pharm books for $1 to get a basic understanding.

    My husband laughed, because he said "On, ANOTHER book on drugs..."..but I don't care. Amazon has it where you can search and read a few of the pages to see if that particular book suits your needs. At this point, I want it because I like the tidbits they share to help remember things. I do a great deal of patient teaching in my clinic and (while I do carry a PDA with a nursing drug guide), I really like to comprehend what the drug does in my own words, so that I can better explain to the patient WHY they are getting that prescription. Of course, everything won't be in there, but just enough to get you started.

    Also, the Nursing Made Incredibly Easy series has a nursing pharmacology book. They may have the tidbits that you need, also. It takes time, you will not know everything, and there is nothing wrong with carrying a pocket drug guide with you to look up while speaking to the patient. I will usually start out with the common reasons for the drug, and if they have more questions that I can't remember, I pull out my PDA, or pocket guide to read off what they want to know.