Limited as an LPN

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    So I just finished nursing school (LPN Program) back in September. I took my NCLEX in October and passed. Ultimately I want to be a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. As an LPN I can't do anything really in OB/NICU/L&D. I was looking into being an OB Tech but was wondering if it is worth it to be a tech even though I am an LPN. I'm not really worried about the money more so than the experience I would like to gain while looking into doing my RN/BSN, but at the same time I DO need a good income. Would OB Tech be a good start towards NNP? What exactly is the career path you would advise? What other fields would you recommend? I feel so "limited" as an LPN, especially in VA!

    Dear Feels Limited,

    Congrats on achieving your LPN licensure!

    To be an NP, you need to get your Registered Nurse training and license, as you mentioned. Then after that you can apply to NP school.
    So educationally, you are on the right track.

    Experience-wise, your opportunities as an LPN will be limited to mostly long-term care, which
    provides an income and nursing responsibility, but not directly clinically related experience. As an OB tech you would be limited practice-wise, but would be in the general setting you eventually want to practice in (NICU).

    OB techs assist with delivery which is closer to your ultimate goal than long-term care.
    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,117


  3. by   llg
    You might try to find something in pediatric long term care or pediatric home care -- anything peds. Then once you get your RN, you'll be in a better position to get into a NICU as a staff nurse ... then back to school for the MSN or DNP for the NNP.
  4. by   rescueninja1987
    Agree with the previous poster. Also, just a thought, you could always take the OB tech position, then pick up OT if it's available, and if not work per diem in a LTC or rehab facility somewhere to make a little extra money.
  5. by   feelix
    Get your RN license asap then get hired in the area. It would be better for you whether you become a NP or not. Getting hired as a tech is no guarantee they will hire you in the area as an RN. I think it is real bad advice to ask a nurse to work as a tech. She will get experience, but not any that would build up her skills; None that would be counted during a hiring interview. It is no guarantee she will ever be hired on an OB floor when she becomes an RN. RN experience is what is going to get her into the NP program.
    Working as an LPN would put enough money in her pocket to go to RN college and work. Besides, after of a couple of years as an LPN, and as many as an RN, she might actually change her mind and choose another specialty.