Kylea, I agree with your assessment and that's what I'd really want to do. I feel that it's easier to do the LVN and then the LVN to RN Route. In Texas where they accepted me into their LVN Program, I originally applied for the RN program, but my pre-requisites were over 5 years old, so what I took in 2002-2004 would not be considered. The head of the Nursing Department told me that I would have a better chance at being accepted into their LVN Program, so I applied for that and got accepted. Of course, at the same time, I received an acceptance letter from Iowa for their RN program.
The school in Texas has 4 pre-requisite classes and they also give credit for 5 of the classes offered in their RN Program and they are called co-requisites. So there are 4 pre-reqs and 5 co-reqs. The 4 co-requisites carry more value with respect to grades and are used in the determininig process for acceptance into the RN Program. The 5 classes are called co-requisites and you are given credit for taking those 5 classes before the start of the RN Program but you get 1 point credit for each of the classes you've taken. Then the remaining factor is your scores on the TEAS Test which I believe is used, primarily in Texas, as an entrance test for RN's here.
The Iowa RN program has those pre-requisite classes as part of their curriculum, so instead of making taking Anatomy I & II this Summer in Texas, Iowa would offer those same classes in the Fall and Spring. Likewise for Microbiology and Math, same thing.
The plan of action that the head of Nursing came up with in Texas was for me to get Anatomy I & II out of the way during this summer, take the LVN Program from August 2009 to August 2010, then because I would still need Microbiology and Math, get a job as an LVN and then take a night class in the 2 remaining pre-requisites and any co-requisite classes and then in the Fall, apply to the LVN to RN Program which would also give me time to study and take the TEAS test as well.
The Texas program, compared to the Iowa program, just seems a little bit complicated. I'm taking classes (pre-reqs) that they don't teach in their program and I'm having to use my time and money to get those classes for the Nursing dept. to use towards my eligibility for acceptance into the LVN/RN program. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if I knew I would be accepted into that LVN/RN program which would be starting in Fall 2011 and I'd finish in May of 2012. Now compare that with Iowa. I would start in the Fall of 2009 and finish in August of 2011. Almost a year's difference. Plus I would not have to take any of those Pre-reqs that Texas requests because they are offered in Iowa's curriculum.
The one pre-requisite for every student at Iowa though is taking a Nursing Assistant Certificate Progam over the Summer. 2 days a week at 6 hours a day and in 2 months, you have a Nursing Assistant Certificate before you even enter into Iowa's RN Program. Iowa just seems to have a very logical system set up. Having students go through a 2 month Nursing Assistant program I think is a great way for someone to get right into what nursing is all about and get a taste of what their chosen career path is going to be, plus you could use that Nursing Assistant Certificate as a means to work on weekends maybe and make some money during the school year.
I have a 2 year Iowa RN program vs a Texas LVN program with the "possibility" of getting into Texas' LVN/RN program a year after graduation, in the Fall of 2011. The RN is my goal. What if I don't get accepted into Texas' RN classes in the Fall of 2011 or the Fall of 2012, 2013, etc. I think at that point, I would be kicking myself for not taking Iowa's 2 year program and have that RN degree under my belt. If I had more of a guarantee of being accepted in Texas, I could do this, but I feel that the Nursing field is just getting more and more competitive as people change careers into a field that is more secure than others.
I have to do this for myself and as much as I want to stay in Texas, my chances for what "I" want are much better in Iowa. With the exception of getting my LVN in Texas and then getting into an online LVN to RN program, then I would look into that seriously. I do have a close friend that graduated from the same school in Texas as an LVN and then went online to get her RN degree, passed the RN Boards and got a very nice job in Texas as an RN. I have not really looked into the Online thing, but that may be the "only" thing that would keep me in Texas and close to my family.
I really appreciate all of the advice that I have received because I feel it's been fair and unbiased and you don't always get that from friends or family and this website and forum are just excellent. I'm glad I found it and it has been very informative and useful. Thank you.