Surgical Tech to RN


So I am debating getting my certificate as a surgical technician. My reasoning behind this is that currently I am working overtime to cover my bills at low wages. Working overtime is wearing me thin while it took a toll on my first semester on college. The bottom line is that I need to work less, and to do this I need a better paying job. Yes I know this process will prolong me becoming an rn, and this isn't the original plan.So working part time as a surgical tech would not only allow me to make more money but also give me experience working in a hospital which would look when applying to nursing school. I also have people telling me to just go and get my lpn and work my way up. I just don't know what to do. I do know that I need to raise my gpa ad focus more on school.

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,432 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

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Going the LPN route would give you a nursing knowledge base. Surgical techs are a completely different field. A surgical tech is limited to the OR and possibly L&D for c-sections. LPNs have a bit more flexibility. No bridge programs exist to my knowledge that allow for one to go straight from ST to RN without essentially starting over in a new program. There are bridge programs for LPN to RN that take previous nursing courses into account.

You should also look into the job market and salary in your area- and I don't mean listen to what the school tells you. Talk to current STs about their workplace, look at hospitals for available positions. My hospital of 35 ORs currently has 1 opening for an ST. Because of the limited places to work, ST positions may not become open often- they either open because someone retires or graduates from nursing school. Keep in mind that STs tend to make less than what one would think- the ones I work with max out at the same rate a nurse starts. You may be better off in your current job and going straight into nursing school in the long run once you factor in the cost of both programs.


231 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Critical Care. Has 1 years experience.

I agree with the poster above, LPN is your best option, or even CNA if you really need a little better of a paying job. The class is roughly 16 weeks, pay would be a little better than minimum wage, and it helps with getting into an RN school because of the experience. But LPN is better because if you choose to be an RN, it's an additional 1 or so for your transition.


205 Posts

I have been a ST for 11 years and I make $26 a hour. So, I don't think that's to bad. Have been in the $21 plus since 3 years experience. However, I'm not sure what new grads are making these days and where I live the market is flooded with them because of so many Tech schools giving the program. Which means since you have no experience it will be harder to work. In addition, I see more than one job available, but very few are part-time. Since you want have any experience, you probably won't qualify to get a flex shift because you won't have the experience of being able to scrub in many areas you will have limited specialty training. If you were a ST already, then you would understand why I been working on my RN and thankfully have been accepted into a program. You are limited to the OR and you can only scrub. I would like to circulate since I am getting older being on your feet all day can become tiring. I love my job, but having options would make me love it more. Going to a community college you would not start completly over, but you are close to doing that. That is the only reason why I would choose LVN if your main goal is to be a RN. However, LVN's are being moved out of the hospitals so you have to consider do you only want to work in long term care and rehad facilities. I'm not interested in that. If you aren't either, I suggest just stick to schooling for the RN and cut out the middle man steps. You will be in less debt. I know it takes longer but in the end it will be well worth it. As far as CNA, I did that when I first started doing trades and phelbotomy. I quickly realized you can find a job with high school diploma requirements that pay the same with far less wear and tear on your body. That's how I became a ST, it paid for my long tiring days and now I still want more for services.


599 Posts

When applying to nursing they look more for CNA's. Surgical techs even part time are tough hours to work around school. Good luck :)


205 Posts

I don't agree with they look for more CNA's. Some schools may give you credit for a one or two max point skill class. Some your previous medical experience isn't even considered, just depends on which school you choose. You can get a CNA in a few weeks, so if you do a ST in a small facility you will learn that job and more. So, the class they get credit for you can cake walk through it.