RT to RN Transition, not so easy!

Posted
by ventgurl ventgurl, ASN Member

Specializes in CTICU. Has 10 years experience.

I have been a Registered Respiratory Therapist for 8 years now. I am trying to enter the field of nursing. I love the overall autonomy and the role of the nurse. By working closely with doctors and nurses in the ICU, I feel that my role of a therapist is somewhat significant. I am ready to deliver total care to my patients, not just ventilatory support. I feel as if I have a great foundation of health care knowledge and experience that will give me a head start in nursing school. I graduated from a community college, where recieved my respiratory education and completed an Associates Degree. My problem is that my overall GPA is a 2.4. After taking all my prerequisites twice (due to them expiring) my GPA didn't improve much. After applying to about 5 different schools for ASN, I was told repeatedly that I was not qualified due to my low GPA. I have since transferred my credits to a University and now my GPA is 2.99 and I will be graduating in June 2009 with a Bachelors in General Studies with an Allied Health Focus. My plan is to apply for the accellerated nuring program that will be completed in one calender year. Question #1 - Are there any former RTs that made the transition into nursing? If so how did you do it and did you respiratory experience help? #2- Why does my respiratory education go unrecognized and why doesn't it count for anything? Any comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

imenid37

imenid37

1,804 Posts

Wow! I admire your determination. I wish you the best. I think your respiratory experience will be helpful with many aspects of nursing. What area of the country are you in?

northwestwind

northwestwind

38 Posts

Absolutely, positively, do not give up on your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. You have wonderful healthcare experience, and you will be a terrific nurse. While you may feel being an RT goes unrecognized by schools, there is no denying your 8 years of patient care - which will serve you well -and has nothing to do with a GPA - patients don't care, they just want you on their side. Plus your GPA is fine, it's average. Your drive, your compassion, and your healthcare knowledge will ultimately outweigh any obstacles you now face. Are you saying that your current university offers an accelerated nursing degree in one year, after June 2009 when you get a bs degree, and are you guaranteed a position into this program? Feel free to [PM] - I can help you figure this out. I am a master's prepared nurse.

By the way, my husband went through the same thing. He is now an Internal Medicine doctor. He was born to be one, and he knew it. He was turned down by many medical schools, who said his GPA isn't good enough, and his MCAT (the test you have to take for med school) scores were horrible. He impressed the Dean at Columbia Med School with his drive. He got in, and failed his first year there, because he isn't good at hard science, plus he is color blind, so he couldn't get through the slide portion of histology, etc. He got through the second time. I am talking Ivy League education all along - undergrad and graduate. He is now the top producer in a large medical practice. And his patients have access to his cell phone, 24/7. 5,000 patients. They call only when absolutely necessary, which isn't often. He takes such good care of them that most of them do not need to call him. He has had patients for 25+ years, and he goes to each and every funeral or calling hours. Does this have anything to do with GPA? No. And it doesn't mean anything for you, too.

If you want it, go for it. Please do [PM] me!

PageRespiratory!

PageRespiratory!

237 Posts

............ I feel that my role of a therapist is somewhat significant.............

>

Why would you say "somewhat"?!?

Let me ask, what kind of respiratory program did you attend that kept you enrolled with a GPA

Although I have not gone to NS, I work with 2 RN's that were previously RRT's and a good friend from respiratory school is currently in NS. They all felt "very well prepared" and transitioned fairly smoothly. One is a manager on our med-surge unit (I think he's nuts!) The other ICU nurse has been accepted to anethesia school, she said the interviewer was quite excited by her respiratory experience. And my friend wants to become a transplant coordinater. Either way, holding dual credentials is an asset.

Typically core curriculum credits will rarely transfer to another program. For example; a nurse going to respiratory school would not be able to transfer the core nursing credits. But if you were going to get a BSRC your resp. credits would count. Good Luck!

rpetrosianRN

rpetrosianRN

2 Posts

Hello. I am a Respiratory Therapist turned Registered Nurse. I was a therapist for 12 yrs when I became RN. You can do it don't give it. And if all else fails you can alway do Excelsior the online nursing program that you can do if you are RT. Look them up. I went to a university. I think hospital experience as a RT is very helpful when becoming a nurse. I work in CCU, and I am a good resource for that unit. Nursing does have alot more responsibility than resp, however in the long run I think you will find it more fullfilling. Nursing has so many opportunities unlike resp. SO.. I say don't give up!

ventgurl

ventgurl, ASN

Specializes in CTICU. Has 10 years experience. 61 Posts

I say somewhat because as part of the critical care team, MDs and RN make decisions based on their assessments alone without my input. I graduated from one the best Respiratory Programs in Ct @ Naugatuck Valley Community College. My GPA is low due to Ds in Art and history, my sciences and core respiratory grades were pretty good. Please don't misundrstand me, I love what I do, I'm just ready to take it to the next level.

ventgurl

ventgurl, ASN

Specializes in CTICU. Has 10 years experience. 61 Posts

Thank you, R PetrosianRN! Your words of encouragement mean a lot especially from someone who was once in my shoes. I thought about doing the Excelsior College but I heard that hospitals will not hire due to lack of clinical experience as RN.

ventgurl

ventgurl, ASN

Specializes in CTICU. Has 10 years experience. 61 Posts

PageRespiratory, I do work in a teaching hospital. I'd like more autonomy which is why I chose nursing. Also with nuring there are many different ways to practice, my goal is to become an advanced level practitioner.

PageRespiratory!

PageRespiratory!

237 Posts

I say somewhat because as part of the critical care team, MDs and RN make decisions based on their assessments alone without my input........
Are you serious!?!?! That sounds like a terrible place to work, I assure you it's not like that everywhere. How does this happen? Why would your director stand for this?

PageRespiratory, I do work in a teaching hospital. I'd like more autonomy which is why I chose nursing. Also with nuring there are many different ways to practice, my goal is to become an advanced level practitioner.

>

I worked in a huge (1200 bed) teaching facility outside NYC, and it was difficult to draw a gas let alone intubate a Pt., but the ICU residents relied heavily on us (according to them anyway) for Pt. assesment and vent/pulmonary support. While it was difficult to perform a clinical task (outside of a circuit change LOL!), we had a great working relationship with many of the docs. You must be very frustrated working in a limited capacity like that, I would be as well thats for sure. NS sounds like a great option on your way to accomplishing your goal. Have you considered PA school as an alternative?

ventgurl

ventgurl, ASN

Specializes in CTICU. Has 10 years experience. 61 Posts

PagingRespiratory, you don't know how frustrated, I get when the Dr. talks directly to the RN about weaning, vent settings, blood gases ect. and I'm standing right there. When I graduate in June I plan on applying for both the accelerated Masters Entry Nursing and PA school. I heard PA school is extremely competative, more so than nursing. PA school would be nice because I would definitely have the autonomy that I so desire and I will only have to go to school for an additional 2 years instead of 3 for advanced nurse practitioner. Any insight or additional ideas are certainly appreciated. Thanks, PagRespiratory!

MAnders1405

MAnders1405

Specializes in Respiratory, ER, PFT and asthma. 40 Posts

I know this post is almost a year old, but I have to ask, where did you find an accelerated nursing program that can be completed in one calender year?

Sanchez RRT

Sanchez RRT

2 Posts

Are you serious!?!?! That sounds like a terrible place to work, I assure you it's not like that everywhere. How does this happen? Why would your director stand for this?

>

I worked in a huge (1200 bed) teaching facility outside NYC, and it was difficult to draw a gas let alone intubate a Pt., but the ICU residents relied heavily on us (according to them anyway) for Pt. assesment and vent/pulmonary support. While it was difficult to perform a clinical task (outside of a circuit change LOL!), we had a great working relationship with many of the docs. You must be very frustrated working in a limited capacity like that, I would be as well thats for sure. NS sounds like a great option on your way to accomplishing your goal. Have you considered PA school as an alternative?

*Sanchez RRT* Isn't PA a Masters in Nursing? Are you saying that Ventgurl should continue her edu?

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