First off, I am 37 feeling like I am running out of time to choose the path I want to take. I know for sure it is nursing, as I have over 10+ years in various roles supporting nurses. I am finally ready to finish schooling now that my kids are in college. Here is my issue. I have 73 credits towards a Bachelors in Health Management. I want to get into the workforce (nursing) as soon as possible, but I am not sure if the best path is to apply for a 10 month LPN program first, then continue on to the BSN, or finish my Bachelor's and bridge to a 2nd degree BSN program. I am in Massachusetts and surrounded my colleges and hospitals that offer the second Bachelor's BSN accelerated track. The issue is that may take another 3-4 years before I achieve my BSN. So is it worth getting my LPN first for the experience?? I am looking for any thoughts and open to any suggestions!!
LPN school gets you working as a nurse faster and opens doors to other programs as well as employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement. I started as an LPN. My career progression has been:
LPN> ADN> BSN> MSN> DNP
No enough people consider LPN as a first step.
Thank you! I am hoping to gain the experience through the LPN program, I just wanted to be sure from others in the field that it is not a waste of time. I feel like I may have a better chance of being accepted into a bridge program with the experience as well.
I'm kind of split on this, but given that you want to start working right away, as long as the LPN program isn't all that expensive, it may be an excellent option for you to start with LPN. My major concern is that since the program you're looking at is a 10 month program, it may be a private program and those can be expensive and the education you get may not be able to be transferred for credit at a college or university.
I suppose what I'm saying is that you should weigh your LPN schooling options before jumping into a program. Once you're working, you'll certainly gain experience but employers may or may not consider that, but the experience will be helpful. Now since you're 73 units into a health-related Bachelors, you might want to look at what it would take for you to continue with that program and complete it. If you can take 10 months off and resume after LPN school, that would eventually result in a Bachelors that's health-related (which may help with different career paths) and should also open the ABSN pathway to you. The ADN is also an excellent next step after LPN but in certain markets there could be problems finding employment quickly as an ADN.
I see a couple pathways for you to explore:
LPN -> ADN or BSN (abandon the BS)
LPN -> complete BS degree -> ADN or traditional BSN or ABSN
With LPN, you may or may not be able to enter an RN program as an "Advanced Standing" student, essentially getting credit for prior learning as an LPN and "skipping" a portion of the RN program. You may or may not have that option. Just don't wait too long to start an RN program while working as an LPN because you very well could develop some "bad habits" that would have to be unlearned and the longer you do those "bad habits" the longer it takes to retrain yourself.
I'm a second degree student and recently I got accepted into an accelerated adn program. Personally, I've always regret not taking the lpn route first because by time i completed my pre reqs for nursing (1.5 years) and waited to get into a program (1.5 years)...I could of just knocked the lpn program out and been working on completing a bsn bridge program by now. Just food for thought, your not abandoned your credits, those same core credits will help you tremendously when you apply for a bridge program. Also, second degree students don't get much help financially, thats one of the reasons I had to go adn route. Even with federal and unsubsidized loans it was just not enough for me to survive and pay for school.
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