Published Jun 6, 2004
I am extremely interested in starting a career in Nursing. It has been a life long dream and I am finally at a point where I can realize it. Where do I start? I am looking into medical assistant, or LPN. Any recommendations? I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania (Chester County)
nursemike, ASN, RN
Several of my friends at work have Medical Assistant degrees, but are working as aides. One friend with an MA couldn't get a job in a nursing home because she wasn't a CNA! Unless you really have your heart set on being an MA in a doctor's office or something like that, LPN appears to be a much more versatile degree, and I'm told the training for both is very similar. (I'm told by my friends with MA's, but I tend to believe them. They sound like they cover some things more thoroughly than my ADN courses.)
My nurse manager advised me against an LPN, as opposed to going straight into an ADN. Good advice, overall, but I sort of wish I'd have had the LPN training before starting clinicals. Nursing School doesn't spend nearly as much time as I had thought it would on clinicals. Looks like I'll be doing a lot of OJT, which is scary. (A friend with a BSN told me she went through 4 years of school, a month as a GN, and a month of orientation, and had never started an IV until her first day on her own as an RN.)
Another advantage as an LPN (vs. MA) is that you can do LPN-to-RN online, if that's helpful.
Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide. It ain't easy, but it is fun, in a horrifying sort of way.
I am from Southern Chester county and I am starting nursing school in the fall (though I am moving out of the area to do so). The thing that sucks most about chester county is that we have no community college. I took classes at Deleware County community college and they have a nursing program at the chester county hospital in West Chester, it does have a waiting list - so you might want to look into it. Deleware County has a lot of options for distance learning, but the courses are more expensive than if you were a resident of thier county. I was accepted into Brandywine Hospital School of nursing in Coatesville and if you applied now you could probably get into the Fall 2005 class. Immaculata and West Chester University also have BSN programs. Bandywine Center for Arts and Technology has an LPN program that has year long classes that start a few times per year. If you are interested in becoming a CNA first there are many nursing homes in the area that will pay for you to get certified. If you are interested in the names of some of the nursing homes that will do that feel free to PM me. I worked for a very good nursing home and they had a 3 week class and we took the state test at the facility. I have done a lot of research on different nursing programs in the area , so if you have any specific questions feel free to pm me.
I just wanted to add the link to Brandywine Center For arts and Technology. On this page I can only find info for high school programs, but I am sure if you call them they can send you info on the LPN program... They might also have a MA program - I am not sure.
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