Completely Green - Should I Begin My Nursing Career in LPN?

  1. Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am changing jobs from office manager, then library assistant and now I am trying to do nurse! This will be my first actual career job if it works out.

    Would you suggest someone completely new to go into LPN first, then move toward BSN/NP? I have a bachelors degree already so I am quite tempted to want to do the Masters (Entry to Profession of Nursing) at University of Arizona.

    Anyway, I was curious if anyone had an opinion about where to start first? Thank you!
    Last edit by WildcatMLS on Jul 13, '17
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    About WildcatMLS

    Joined: Jul '17; Posts: 5; Likes: 4

    11 Comments

  3. by   Gary Mendoza
    I can't tell you what you should do, I don't know your personal or financial situation. However, I will tell you that I went to nursing school (RN) and had no prior experience. Matter of fact, I didn't even know how to use a stethoscope properly (I almost failed my first exam because of that).

    Now, keep mind that RN school is going to be much harder than LPN school. The reason I say that is because we had 5 LPN's in my nursing class and none of them passed. By the final semester they were all gone. In my opinion, deciding whether to go for your LPN or your RN depends on three things:

    1. Your financial situation
    2. The amount of time you will have to apply to your studies.
    3. How badly you are willing to work for it.

    Think about those three things. It will likely be one of the hardest things you have ever done. Then decide which is the better option for you.
  4. by   Scottishtape
    Quote from Gary Mendoza
    I can't tell you what you should do, I don't know your personal or financial situation. However, I will tell you that I went to nursing school (RN) and had no prior experience. Matter of fact, I didn't even know how to use a stethoscope properly (I almost failed my first exam because of that).

    Now, keep mind that RN school is going to be much harder than LPN school. The reason I say that is because we had 5 LPN's in my nursing class and none of them passed. By the final semester they were all gone. In my opinion, deciding whether to go for your LPN or your RN depends on three things:

    1. Your financial situation
    2. The amount of time you will have to apply to your studies.
    3. How badly you are willing to work for it.

    Think about those three things. It will likely be one of the hardest things you have ever done. Then decide which is the better option for you.
    Nice generalization there. And, wrong.

    OP: I have been through an LPN program, an RN program, and just finished my bachelors. They were all difficult, but all manageable.

    My advice is to look where you want to end up, and take the path that will cut out any extra time or money. I did it via the stair step method, so it took me longer and ended up costing me more in the end.

    And, for the love of all that's holy, don't listen to ridiculous comments like the one above from people who haven't actually done both. It'll cause you to make poor decisions.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.
  5. by   llg
    There is no need to be an LPN before becoming an RN. However, if it is something you want to do, there is nothing wrong with taking that longer path.

    Those MSN-level entry programs, accelerated BSN programs, etc. exist for a reason. A lot of people in your situation want to save time and money by taking a quicker route to their final goals -- and those paths work for them.

    Investigate the benefits and costs of all possible pathways and choose the one that fits your needs best.
  6. by   Dylan2016
    Go to LPN first... . So you have a background and experience in nursing.. from there you can move up easily... good luck ���������������� �
  7. by   WildcatMLS
    Great thanks to you all! Yes, I really liked the idea of LPN because it would get me started fast and then I could work my way up. However I didn't want to waste my bachelors either. BTW its in Business Administration not Public Health or any of that good healthcare related stuff. So then I was seriously considering the MEPN so that I could just be a Nurse Practitioner. I do actually have an insane bleepload of debt from my masters in library science. Its been such a pain in the behind trying to get a job as a Librarian that I thought I could at least quickly pick up a nursing job to help pay off bills and possibly I would fall in love with the profession. I really wish I could say its been a lifelong ambition of mine but really honestly I have no idea if I would even like it but it seemed like the cheapest route to a decent life. My only intention is to help people in a profound way which I wanted to do as a Librarian but would also be able to do as a Nurse. Thank you for your input! Its much appreciated.
  8. by   Scottishtape
    Quote from WildcatMLS
    Great thanks to you all! Yes, I really liked the idea of LPN because it would get me started fast and then I could work my way up. However I didn't want to waste my bachelors either. BTW its in Business Administration not Public Health or any of that good healthcare related stuff. So then I was seriously considering the MEPN so that I could just be a Nurse Practitioner. I do actually have an insane bleepload of debt from my masters in library science. Its been such a pain in the behind trying to get a job as a Librarian that I thought I could at least quickly pick up a nursing job to help pay off bills and possibly I would fall in love with the profession. I really wish I could say its been a lifelong ambition of mine but really honestly I have no idea if I would even like it but it seemed like the cheapest route to a decent life. My only intention is to help people in a profound way which I wanted to do as a Librarian but would also be able to do as a Nurse. Thank you for your input! Its much appreciated.

    One of the things that worked well for me starting with an LPN program was that I was able to pay out of pocket for that and my bridge program since they were broken up. That would definitely be a plus considering your loan situation

    My LPN program was very hard, so be prepared for that. It's also difficult to work in it because it's a Mon-Fri gig plus clinicals.

    The LPN-RN program was easier for me b cause it was set up like traditional college, which allowed for more time, and the experience I gained by being an LPN helped me immensely in the ADN program.

    Either way, it's very exciting! Good luck!
  9. by   DowntheRiver
    Does it irk anyone else when people use "LPN school" or "RN school"? I prefer Practical Nursing school and Nursing school. Or just Nursing school. I also don't like it when people say "I got my LPN/RN degree." No, got a nursing degree then took an exam which enabled you to obtain a nursing license.
  10. by   retiredmednurse
    While you thinking which path to take, I would even consider another path. Try being a CNA (certified nursing assistant). As a CNA, you get to do the real hands-on patient care. This is the dirty work of nursing. Bedbaths, bed changes, helping patients with their care, beginning your assessment skills, and being able to observe what LPN's and RN's do. While working as a CNA, you can be taking your pre-nursing classes such as A+P, beginning psyche and child development. I worked as a CNA before BSN and felt it gave me a legs up on my classmates. I knew how to take VS, started learning differences in pt's demeanor, skin assessment with the bathing, and just noticing small differences. When it came to my first day of clinical, I was comfortable in the surroundings. I was ready to get to work. I had a few classmates that literally shook, they were so nervous. Being a CNA will help you decide if you even want to be a nurse. If you enjoy being a CNA, I wouldn't do it for more than a year. I did it 3 summers while going through nursing school and getting that experience. One good laugh--going through nursing skill, they make everything sound like a life-or-death situation. I was readling up on renal calculi. Once I figured out the book was talking about were kidney stones, I laughed a long time. You see, kidney stones as a whole is pretty low on the life-or-death range. Anyway, good luck on which ever path you choose. Being a nurse is one of the most respected professions today. I loved being a nurse and I hope you will too.
  11. by   shamadi
    Quote from retiredmednurse
    While you thinking which path to take, I would even consider another path. Try being a CNA (certified nursing assistant). As a CNA, you get to do the real hands-on patient care. This is the dirty work of nursing. Bedbaths, bed changes, helping patients with their care, beginning your assessment skills, and being able to observe what LPN's and RN's do. While working as a CNA, you can be taking your pre-nursing classes such as A+P, beginning psyche and child development. I worked as a CNA before BSN and felt it gave me a legs up on my classmates. I knew how to take VS, started learning differences in pt's demeanor, skin assessment with the bathing, and just noticing small differences. When it came to my first day of clinical, I was comfortable in the surroundings. I was ready to get to work. I had a few classmates that literally shook, they were so nervous. Being a CNA will help you decide if you even want to be a nurse. If you enjoy being a CNA, I wouldn't do it for more than a year. I did it 3 summers while going through nursing school and getting that experience. One good laugh--going through nursing skill, they make everything sound like a life-or-death situation. I was readling up on renal calculi. Once I figured out the book was talking about were kidney stones, I laughed a long time. You see, kidney stones as a whole is pretty low on the life-or-death range. Anyway, good luck on which ever path you choose. Being a nurse is one of the most respected professions today. I loved being a nurse and I hope you will too.
    I could not agree with retiredmednurse more. It seems like what you need to do first is to make sure this field is right for you before investing so much time and more loan towards a career that you may end up hating since nursing is definitely not for everyone.
    I graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology and always thought about going into nursing but was very hesitant because of all those dirty work involved- my mom was a nurse and she did not like it so she only worked a couple years and quit.
    That's why I decided to work as a CNA first. Much quicker to become a CNA and it is very hands on- I worked on Telemetry med/surg floor and I learned so much about nursing by working and observing with nurses and doctors. It's not just CNAs that have to do dirty work..all the RNs had to do it together. I worked the night shift and the pay was not bad after night shift pay differential.
    After about a year, I started working as a mental health worker in a psychiatric hospital and that also gave me a very hands on experience in a different setting.
    While working full time, I took time to finish all the prerequisite courses like A&P, Microbio, Chem, Lifespan psych, etc. I didn't want to rush into it as it was my second bachelor and a career choice.
    I wanted to make sure this is really what I wanted to do.
    I just got accepted to an accelerated bacelors program for nursing that starts next month!
    I cannot wait to start it and become a nurse. I love working in this field and my experience in healthcare setting definitely without a doubt helped me get accepted into a program and I feel so prepared and comfortable to work with patients in any setting just like retiredmednurse mentioned.
    Best of luck in your future!
  12. by   dianah
    Moved to Pre-Nursing Student forum.
  13. by   araew2129
    I am also changing careers to nursing and do plan in applying to the MEPN program at the UA. One thing I will point out is that it is neither quick nor cheap. Sure it is a 15 month program, but it will take me a year to get all the science prereqs done. I assume it will be similar for you since you said your other degrees are not science-based (my bachelor's is in social work). Also, completing the MEPN does not allow you to become a NP. You still have to complete a DNP program for that. And, not sure if you looked at the cost but the MEPN is 40k. I would agree that you should try out the field before you make commitments. I am lucky to have worked as a CNA for 7 years while going to school the first time so I know I can be happy as a nurse. Hope you find the answers you're looking for!

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