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Should I become an LVN?

Blossom26 Blossom26 (New) New

Hi all!

I decided to go back to school last year to pursue becoming a vocational nurse. My plan was to be a CNA while going to nursing school. I have been a CNA for about 4 months now and I find it very stressful. I work in a SNF on a rehab floor AM shift (6:30am - 2:30pm) where the residents are very demanding, I don't get any breaks besides my 30 min lunch, and get behind at times and cannot clock out till 3/3:30pm. Time management is difficult because we are not allowed to pass any call lights w/o checking on them. Every day I am exhausted and mentally and physically drained. I am having second thoughts about becoming a nurse. I got accepted at a private school for the vocational nursing program. I would be done in about 1 year. If I don't like being a CNA should I not become an LVN? :down:

From what I've seen, nurses get even fewer breaks than CNAs. The work can be a little less physical, though. How much is the "private school" going to cost you and what's the job market like where you're at? What other options do you have to consider?

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

From what I've seen, nurses get even fewer breaks than CNAs. The work can be a little less physical, though. How much is the "private school" going to cost you and what's the job market like where you're at? What other options do you have to consider?

Especially pay attention to the "job market" part. There are parts of the country that are or have already phased out LVN's. You don't want to go to school and spend all that time and money and not be able to find a job.

The private school would cost be aprox $16,000 (student loan) I am considering becoming a registered dental assistant as well. The program is half the cost of the LVN program. I used to work in dental offices some years back. I was a receptionist at a few dental offices and had my x-ray license (aprox 10 years). I figure I already know the environment of dental offices and my background would help. What do you think?

The job market for LVNs seems to be demanding in my area. The private school told me they have more job openings than they can fill. I also do know people that went through the program and they got jobs right away. I have heard about "phasing out", but I don't know how that would makes sense for the RNs to do all the work.

The job market for LVNs seems to be demanding in my area. The private school told me they have more job openings than they can fill.

What area are you in? For profit schools commonly make such claims. If you don't want to say, try looking on the board for your state to see if people are complaining about not being able to find jobs.

Alisonisayoshi, LVN

Specializes in LTC.

I think my dental hygienist makes about 10 bucks more an hour than me (I don't know about the RDAs though), so if it's about money, maybe go dental. If it's about love of nursing, but you aren't liking rehab, maybe go RN. LVNS work a lot of SNF/rehab.

It is Brightwood College also know as Kaplan...I was going to do the Junior College route, but the waitlist is 2 to 3 years. I know of 2 people that went through the Kaplan program and were hired immediately. I had thought i wanted to be a nurse, but I am having 2nd thoughts. Like I said I am a CNA now and don't like the stress, how will I be a good vocational nurse? I really have to figure things out...look into other medical careers.

Yes, I would want to do dental hygiene but the program in my area is $56,000. Its also a private school...there are no other DH programs in my area. I am in Southern California. So that is why I am considering being a Registered Dental Assistant.

quiltynurse56, LPN, LVN

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics.

There is a difference between the work a CNA and LPNs do. There are also differences from facility to facility. That is one thing to keep in mind. Also, when you learn each resident and their preferences, the job gets easier. Finding the right way to communicate with each person also helps.

The decision is ultimately yours. Just wanted to chime and and let you know that there are some differences to consider.

Yes, I would want to do dental hygiene but the program in my area is $56,000. Its also a private school...there are no other DH programs in my area. I am in Southern California. So that is why I am considering being a Registered Dental Assistant.

I work with two LVNs in Southern California, but they work as unit clerks because they have not been able to find nursing jobs. In this market, even BSNs have a difficult time finding jobs as new graduates. I was a new graduate nurse in Texas and worked with a lot of new graduates from California who had to leave the state to find work. Proceed with caution if you decide to do the LVN route. Things may not be as rosy as the school is leading you to believe.

Thanks everyone for your input! :yes:

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

While being a CNA is great exposure to the field and potentially a foot in the door for future employment as a nurse the job actually has a lot less in common with being a nurse than a lot of people might think. I speak from experience here as I was a CNA for several years before going on for my RN.

Now as to your concerns about pursuing an PN [or VN in your area] degree I would say you really need to look at the job market where you are and not rely on what the school is telling you. Look in the local papers, check the job postings online for local facilities, look on job sites like indeed to see how many positions are listed for your region and ask other nurses how hard of a time they had finding a job.

You also need to factor in the return on investment for your education no matter which path you choose. Whether it is in nursing or another career path altogether it just doesn't make much sense to spend a small fortune on a degree that either results in such a low paying job that paying back the student loans will be a hardship or worse yet results in a degree that doesn't make you employable at all.

Edited by kbrn2002
still can't type

I am an LVN (LPN) now. The unfortunate truth is that CNAs do the most work but the healthcare field in general is demanding. If I get a break, its usually not at the same time everyday.

I have been a LVN for 13 years.. Never thought I would go back for RN..not because I couldn't find a job or phased out.. As a matter of fact I work as a campus nurse/itinerary.. I decided to go back to set the example for my daughter and myself... I've been blessed without the title.. As far as nursing home.. I've never worked at before.. Very demanding.. Go for it if you want!!

OCNRN63, RN

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

1. You're fortunate to get your 30 min lunch. In some facilities, nurses frequently go without a lunch/dinner break.

2. I'm not sure I understand your comment about not being able to clock out before 3:00-3:30. Of course you can't, you're expected to work your full shift. Again, as a nurse you may need to stay past your shift for one reason or another.

3. If you're in So. Cal., I would be very leery of the overly optimistic job outlook your school is giving you.

Edited by OCNRN63

It is Brightwood College also know as Kaplan...I was going to do the Junior College route, but the waitlist is 2 to 3 years. I know of 2 people that went through the Kaplan program and were hired immediately. I had thought i wanted to be a nurse, but I am having 2nd thoughts. Like I said I am a CNA now and don't like the stress, how will I be a good vocational nurse? I really have to figure things out...look into other medical careers.

Please, please, please don't feel so discouraged, especially this soon into your job as a CNA. I even remember feeling that same way you just described when I first started out as a CNA myself. It gets better with time for sure! Trust when I tell you. You will find your rhythm and what works for you and what doesn't. Don't be so quick to write yourself off from nursing altogether, especially if this is what you want to do. Hang in there

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Now as to your concerns about pursuing an PN [or VN in your area] degree I would say you really need to look at the job market where you are and not rely on what the school is telling you.
I concur. The OP is in San Diego...the southern California LVN employment market is not as booming as the people at the investor-owned school make it out to be.
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