Optical tech wanting to become a nurse



a little background on myself, I have a bachelor of arts in journalism i have been out of college for 10 years i ham 32. I never really worked in my bachelor field due to not finding a job etc etc. I did end up becoming an optical assistant in eye care and have transitioned into optometric technician for an eye dr. Total eye care experience of 8 going on 9 years. I make 14.50 an hour. I want to become a nurse, actually I want to work in a surgical eye care practice as a nurse ultimately assisting in patient post and pre op care. Trouble I am finding is that ophthalmology practices want certified ophthalmology techs and i am a certified optometry tech. I cant find an Opth practice to hire me bc my optometry credentials are "just not enough"(there are no opth classes in NY for techs...not sure why...??) I am considering a nursing career to help me advance in eye care. I live in upstate NY and RN classes are very competitive and i've tried applying being told I lack some chemistry classes to even be considered and "try again in 2018" after taking some pre reqs. I can take LPN classes at Boces and be done in less than a year. I am also not opposed to working in other areas in nursing as an LPN too...anyone have any experience or advice for me??

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Why not take the needed classes and reapply?

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

Then again, the LPN route, might be reasonable approach, there are upward modality RN programs Asn, and even BSN


3 Posts

@loriangel14 in my area there are about 4-5 RN programs but all are highly competitive and expensive. The one I was hoping to get into at a local community college accepts 25 per program and has about 200-250 applicants so its stiff competition and I lack the pre-reqs even for consideration. I honestly dont want to wait that long to even be considered for entrance into the progra. I am 32, turning 33 in March 17....I do realize age is but a number but I just don't have it in me to wait that long and to spend lots of $$$ at this point while continuing to work as an Optometric tech. I feel the LPN would "get my feet wet" in nursing, but also give me another credential to my vision care resume to potentially work at an eye surgical center. I can start the LPN program Aug 2017 and it goes for 1 year. I do understand specialty positions such as a position in ophthalmology nursing may be hard to come by so I will accept other nursing positions. I think after that I will asses where I stand in my career and decide if I want to pursue RN/BSN. The LPN program is $10k total which involves costs for the licensing exam.

I'm in the same area, and I know many people do the LPN program at BOCES. Why not go for it? If you decide you want to get your ADN or BSN later, you'll have great experience. Only OCC will give you any credit for your LPN standing, but it's also the most affordable program, so it may be your best choice. Good luck.

I'm also 32 and an optometric tech! I don't want to continue in the eye care world though (hence my screen name, haha). I am taking just two night classes while working full time (and I'm also a mom). The time will pass. A year will go by like that. You may as well re-take the classes that you need. Personally, I would rather take longer to get my pre-reqs to ensure that I do well and get an A. Have you tried contacting different opthalmology practices to see which nursing degree they would prefer? Also, would getting your opth certification online be an option?