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  1. I think the bottom line is know your province/state's scope of practice and your facility's scope of employment. From reading the posts, it seems that the scope is quite different here in Canada. It has only been the last few years that the LPN's scope of practice has expanded exponentially. We use to have a diploma RN program, but that was replaced perhaps 15 years ago with a nursing degree. I don't want to say the LPN program has 'replaced' the diploma RN program, as RN diploma grads could insert IV's and other things that are not considered entry level LPN competencies. That being said, the LPN scope of practice has many skills that are are considered advanced practice skills, such as phlebotomy and IV insertion to name a few. There are tons of courses available, and depending on your employer, they pay for you to get them, if it pertains to your position with them. I feel very lucky that I will graduate in June, (officially done May 19th when I write Nationals!!) as it is a rather exciting time to be an LPN with all the changes happening. It is expected within a couple of years the scope will expand again, including amoung other things IV insertion!
  2. In Canada, the LPN (also called RPN, Registered Practical Nurse), is a 2 yr program. We get a lot of Clinical time. Right now we are in the last part of the program, a 4 week/160 hr Preceptorship. I just finished my 1st week with the VON. Hoping I get hired on with them, as you really get to use a lot of skills. I have given meds orally/IM/SC, pre-poured meds for one day or a week, and many dressing changes. I did a dressing change on a wound that had tendon showing! Many chest assessments, and much more. Looking forward to the next 3 weeks, and hoping to get to put in my first catheter as I have only removed one!
  3. I will be graduating from the PN program in Canada this June. The best way to explain the difference between the LPN and the RN is this: LPN's work with stable clients, clients with known outcomes, or with unstable clients under the direction of an RN. The LPN does pretty much everything that the RN does (with stable clients/known outcomes): assessments, give meds orally/IM/SC etc.. Putting in IV's is an advanced LPN competency which requires extra education, as is phlebotomy, foot care etc. Opportunities for LPN's are ever widening!
  4. jelaura

    tired of hearing it, nursing students PLEASE answer

    I just started my LAST clinical yesterday!! The count down to the National Licensing exam on May 19th is on! Time management is going to be crucial, as well as a lack of a social life, to get through these last few months. We have 5 weeks of clinical with 3 projects to complete not including all the care plan, a week of exams, 5 weeks of Internship again with the lovely care plans, a week off to prep for Nationals, and then Nationals on May 19th. Of course I have bronchitis... It's hectic, but if you you thrive on fast paced environments, are an adrenaline junkie (a long term goal of mine is to work in the ER), it's a helluva ride! My goal of nursing school was concieved in my teens, but life got in the way. I will be 35 this year, and am glad to finally be able to achieve this goal!!! BTW, I think it helps to already be a mom when it comes to sleep deprivation...you've already been there, done that!
  5. jelaura

    tired of hearing it, nursing students PLEASE answer

    I will be graduating from the LPN program in Canada in May. My goal is to work for a couple of years before bridging to the RN program. I am glad I did it this way, as the year I started the program I had been out of school for 15 years., and my kids were 8 months, 12 and 13. I had always wanted to be a nurse, but I foolishly got married right out of high school to an abusive man. Thankfully I have since divorced. Anyway, this course is a lot of work. I never seem to get all my reading done. Paying attention is class makes a huge difference, (surprisingly, there are several students who chat it up in class, and then wonder why they are struggling!?!), as well as taking notes, to keep you focused. At least in my school, at the beginning of every semester, we get tentative dates for all tests, exams, assignments, reflections, presentations etc...It is sort of overwhelming in the beginning, HOWEVER, at least you can plan!! I always keep a small day planner with all due dates, as well as a cue card listing for each class, all due dates for each. If I have unexpected time, then I can very quickly determine what I should spend the 'free time' on. Time management certainly is crucial to try to fit everything in, especially when you have a family to care for as well! So far I have a 92% average which I am very proud of, as there are girls in my class who are still living at home, no responsibilties, but they chose to spend their free time partying, which is reflected in their grades!
  6. jelaura

    New mom wanted to go to a Nursing School

    I am in the 2nd year of the LPN course in Canada. I think it is called RPN, or VPN in the states. I am planning on working for a few years and then bridging into the RN program. I had been out of school for 15 years when I started last year. My kids are now 14, 13 and 22 months. When I started last year my youngest daughter was only 8.5 months, and I was still breastfeeding; actually still at it, although only once or twice a day. The biggest thing I found was being organized. At the beginning of each semester we find out dates for tests/exams assignments. I find knowing what is due when, up front, makes it easier to plan. It always seems there are multiple tests/assignments due at once, so by planning you can keep your head above water. Yes, there are times, when I think I am going to go crazy, because every free minute you get, you are always thinking, what can I fit in right now?!? I keep reminding myself that I am more than half way through, and I have made it so far with honors! I think being older, and being a parent helps, as it keeps you more focused. Plus, some courses are a piece of cake, because being a mom, 'you've been there/done that'! They certainly help take the edge off, because they balance out the toughies like Anatomy and Physiology or Pharmacology! It is hard to not be home with my youngest like I was with my older kids, but I keep reminding myself everyone will benefit. Not just financially, but having that sense of accomplishment, and doing something that I have always wanted to do and love, will make me a better mom and person in the long run. :)