Part-time LPN program-Is it worth it?

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


After considering a couple different programs, I am weighing going back to school to get an LPN. I have a BA and a M.Ed. (I know . . . apparently I love school). After a youth spent in healthcare (EMT, CPR Instructor) I ended up in technology and then education (I'm in my 30s).

I now have two young children and am planning for what I will do once they are in school. I would like to start a program soon (next year or so) so that by the time they are in school I will be able to start a new job rather than JUST start the education process yet again.

My ultimate goal is to be a nurse practitioner (not in a hurry for this stage!), but for now I really want to gather as much experience as I can without sacrificing a lot of time with my family. I have no desire to seek day care so a part time evening program is ideal for me until they are both in school (which won't be for another four years).

Is an LPN worth it? Will the experience I gather help me as I pursue an RN and beyond? The local cc has a part time LPN program with a bridge program (1 year) for the RN. Would I be better off to wait until I can go back full time for the RN? Does experience weigh more as you pursue other jobs, more education (MSN)?

For those of you who have been researching salaries, what can you tell me about LPN/RN/MSN? I know there are variances depending on specialty and education, but I am interested in a general range (the site seems accurate, but I'd like to hear from those of you who are OUT there).

Finally, from what I've gathered from the boards there is some animosity between the nursing professions--is this really the case? Why? Does it often become an issue in the workplace?

A lot of questions, but I'm eager to learn as much as I can before I jump in! THANK YOU!

If u have 2 degrees why not go for an accelerated masters or bsn, might as well start high up as u can

^^ She can't be full time now, so accelerated BSN does not work for the present time.

I'd say sure, do the part time LPN now. And while you are a currently enrolled student, and get first crack at registration, also take as many of the prereqs and core classes that you'd need for accelerated BSN. Then, when the kids are out, you could either work as LPN or you could look at accelerated BSN if you could make do on one income.

Pay rates for LPN here (NW PA) range from $12/hr to an average of $15 and down closer to Pittsburgh it's up to $22/hr for LPN. When I looked at LPN, I was told that most LPNs here work in geriatrics or other long tern care, primarily nursing homes, and are team leaders. A couple of the hospitals use a RN/LPN/CNA team, but that's in the rural areas. Most larger hospitals seem to only want BSRN now.

Thanks for the feedback! That's a good idea--to work toward the pre-reqs at the same time. I know there are several I can take online. The RN program would be one more year--if I did the bridge program. The BSN program would be up to two, but would eliminate some of the pre-reqs I'd need for the MSN.

While the pay doesn't sound all that great, the good news is that for now, I'm just concerned with getting the experience and perhaps a foot in the door at one of the area hospitals. We live in a small town, more rural in nature, but for the size, we have several medical facilities (including 4 hospitals) within 25 or so miles of each other.

I'd love to do accelerated, but I just don't want to miss out on these years with my little ones. At the same time, I don't want to be JUST starting a program when they start school. From reading these boards, it seems I'm not alone in this.

Given how much education you already have, you might also consider doing a direct entry program that allows for de-celeration.

There are a number of these that are 2-3 years long if you go full time. Within the first or second year, you become an RN and after that can "decelerate" the NP portion of the program. So you commit to 1 super crazy year, then work part-time and try to actually enjoy the second half of your education. It seems like a good solution for somebody with kids. Just a thought.

I was wondering about that. It is good to know that this program exists. I'm thinking it MIGHT be possible to dedicate a solid year as long as I wasn't committing to several years. That might be the best option. If that's the case, I would probably wait an extra year and focus on getting the pre-reqs. My littie guy would be in pre-school and my little girl would just be starting a pre-school program.

This is what I would do:

Do the LPN program since it is part-time and you have young ones at home. Once you complete the program, try to find a job at a nursing home or long term care facility (unless you can get in at a hospital.. good luck). While you are working as an LPN, go for your bachelor degree. Once you obtain your bachelor degree and have all that experience working as an LPN, you should have no problem getting in to a hospital. You can use the LPN degree to gain experience AND an income while you are seeking further education.

I guess it depends on whether you need to bring in income in the next few years or not.

If you do ... perhaps the LPN/bridging route is the right way to go. If not, honestly it's much simpler to do direct entry and it probably gets you where you want to go (NP) faster.

Direct entry may or may not involve more in school loans. Although this could be offset by decelerating and working part-time during the NP portion. It could also be offset by a higher salary within a shorter period of time (as an RN or MSN rather than LPN).

I know that NPs in the northeast start out mid 70's to mid 80's. Including graduates from direct entry programs with no previous nursing experience.

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