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Not a CNA, LPN, CMA, etc.

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countrynurse09 has 4 years experience and specializes in ltc dd/mr.

37 Posts; 3,503 Profile Views

An LPN is a Licensed Practical NURSE. Not at all the same as a CNA or CMA, and shouldn't be considered as "prep" for RN nursing school. LPNs HAVE attended nursing school. I attended nursing school, and became an LPN, AFTER earning a bachelor's degree in another field. Just a friendly bit of information that might help you avoid ill will from your fellow NURSES should you eventually become one yourself.

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21 Posts; 790 Profile Views

An LPN is a Licensed Practical NURSE. Not at all the same as a CNA or CMA, and shouldn't be considered as "prep" for RN nursing school. LPNs HAVE attended nursing school. I attended nursing school, and became an LPN, AFTER earning a bachelor's degree in another field. Just a friendly bit of information that might help you avoid ill will from your fellow NURSES should you eventually become one yourself.

I am aware of what an LPN is... I asked the question because I actually know of a few LPNs who are not REGISTERED nurses and are currently in school to obtain their BSN... I understand the difference with BSN and LPN, respectfully, so my question was for the ones who may have any advice for student nurses as myself who did NOT at all start off as CNAs, MAs, LPNs, what have you, not to try to categorize any titles. I am currently on the traditional BSN route as a student nurse with no patient experience yet other than with volunteering, so that question wasn't to try to categorize with any specific titles.

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17 Posts; 485 Profile Views

It is quite possible to do well going straight into nursing school. Some of my former classmates who worked while in school got stuck in the "that's not how we do it where I work" mentality, and they seemed to have a harder time adapting to the way we were being taught. Unfortunately there are always advantages and disadvantages to everything.

This is so true. As a new LPN student, I had experience giving medications as a ULP in a group home type setting. Yet, I had to relearn to administer meds from a nursing perspective...focusing on patient assessment and medication effects (therapeutic and adverse). I also struggled with lab skills and clinical time management; because unlike most of the other LPN students, I didn't have much in the way of CNA-type experience e.g. hygiene, vital signs, etc.

But the CNAs had their own struggles during clinical, because they had to relearn patient care from a nursing perspective. Instead of rushing through a.m. care, they eventually learned how to "think like a nurse" and use that time to assess the patient's condition.

The beauty of our LPN class was its diversity...we could help each other out with our respective weaknesses. I learned so much from the CNAs during clinical; and some of us were able to assist students who struggled with academic skills such as med calculations or taking exams.

Every student brings something different to classroom, and the best learning probably happens when students work together.

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direw0lf has <1 years experience as a BSN.

1,047 Posts; 10,977 Profile Views

Meh. Internship taught me clinicals are nothing like real world nursing. But you have at least 2yrs to go. I waited to become a patient observer until I was done with what was supposedly rated as the hardest semester by other cohorts. So then a pt observer eased me into the 12 hour shifts I guess and I could sometimes study and watch what the nurses did and communicated with them. Now I'm an intern for the summer and follow a nurses schedule (3 12's). Then for my last school year I'll be a pca, but it will be per diem. I'm required 2 weekends a month. So imo there's no reason to jump at getting some experience YET but by your last year I would get more than volunteering. Not only is it very different from clinicals but you get your foot in the door. For ex through this internship I now know the hiring manager, floor manager, the nurses and aids here, and I know I'll be hired as a pca and talk of RN residency program for me. Look for hospitals near you with internship/externship positions, usually for students entering their senior year or with fundamentals and a first semester of clinicals already.

Anyway about being prepared or not for your nursing classes with no prior experience, that I wouldn't worry about. You'll be getting all of the basic assessment education in your first classes. The emts in my class knew a lot more than me at first, but it was up to me to study sufficiently and I used nclex books also to cover material the teacher doesn't necessarily review. I hope this helped any...good luck in school!!

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21 Posts; 790 Profile Views

Meh. Internship taught me clinicals are nothing like real world nursing. But you have at least 2yrs to go. I waited to become a patient observer until I was done with what was supposedly rated as the hardest semester by other cohorts. So then a pt observer eased me into the 12 hour shifts I guess and I could sometimes study and watch what the nurses did and communicated with them. Now I'm an intern for the summer and follow a nurses schedule (3 12's). Then for my last school year I'll be a pca, but it will be per diem. I'm required 2 weekends a month. So imo there's no reason to jump at getting some experience YET but by your last year I would get more than volunteering. Not only is it very different from clinicals but you get your foot in the door. For ex through this internship I now know the hiring manager, floor manager, the nurses and aids here, and I know I'll be hired as a pca and talk of RN residency program for me. Look for hospitals near you with internship/externship positions, usually for students entering their senior year or with fundamentals and a first semester of clinicals already.

Anyway about being prepared or not for your nursing classes with no prior experience, that I wouldn't worry about. You'll be getting all of the basic assessment education in your first classes. The emts in my class knew a lot more than me at first, but it was up to me to study sufficiently and I used nclex books also to cover material the teacher doesn't necessarily review. I hope this helped any...good luck in school!!

Yes this really helped, thank you so much!! I will definitely take your input into consideration.

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WanderingWilder is a ASN and specializes in Med-Surg.

385 Posts; 4,183 Profile Views

I had not worked as a CNA when I started nursing school. The women who had, seemed to have a leg up the first few weeks of the first semester but after that we were all on the same playing field. Same for the first few weeks of clinical, they had an easier time jumping into the patient care, while I was still struggling with taking blood pressures and feeding my resident. Again though everyone figured it out in a matter of weeks. My instructors had nothing but good things to say about me during my evaluations and I received an A- the first semester and a B+ the second. I'm going into the second year this fall. I will say though of the 8 people that failed out the first year, none of them were ones who had worked as CNAs.

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nalie2 has 1 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN.

333 Posts; 4,466 Profile Views

I wasn't a CNA when I started nursing school. The CNAs and LVNs at times had an advantage because they had more experience in dealing with difficult patients, skills like blood draw and were exposed to more diagnoses. However, some of them were stuck in how they learned to do something. In nursing school some instructors want you to do it their way and some CNAs/LVNs struggled with that. So don't feel discouraged if you're going into nursing school without prior experience. The school will teach you everything you need to know.

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51 Posts; 1,367 Profile Views

I'm in nursing school and I wasn't a CNA before. It's been tough for me - but only because I have anxiety and struggle to talk to people. I'd say it's really good for developing patient communication skills, but not an absolute necessity.

Also, I highly recommend trying to obtain a nursing intern/extern position before you finish nursing school. Clinicals are nice and all, but an internship where you follow a nurse and their schedule will teach you a lot (I'm currently an intern for the summer).

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