Will it be hard to find a job as an LVN if I have Medical assistant experience

Nurses LPN/LVN


Hi, so I just signed up for the LVN program and I start in July. But I have been worried because I have been reading many threads of people not being able to find a job as an LVN. Not being able to find a Job as an MA is the reason I am going back to school (better pay, more flexibility) but are there really more opportunities too? I dont want to work LTC or home health. I have been an MA for 3 years and have lots of experience floating to different specialties...do u think i'll have an easier time finding a job as a new grad LVN since i have healthcare experience as a medical assistant and a little bit of home care giving experience as well??

nervous about the decision i made

Specializes in Geriatrics.

Medical assistant experience is not nursing experience. You will be a new grad nurse. Maybe some specialty clinic it will help, but again, still a new grad nurse! Something will come up. We were all new grads once!!

Medical assistant experience is not nursing experience. You will be a new grad nurse. Maybe some specialty clinic it will help, but again, still a new grad nurse! Something will come up. We were all new grads once!!

Agreed. It depends on the job market where you are. Many clinics where I am hire MAs and not nurses, except specialties, and even that it a toss up. The pay in offices also tends to be poor in comparison to other LPN jobs (really poor). Having your LPN will open up more opportunities though. First job may or may not be your dream job, but it's hard to say you wouldn't want to work in a given area unless you tried it. Then, once you have you can run like hell once you find another position and know your original thought was right (been there myself). Or you may get what you thought you would love and hate it. My point is, you don't know until you try.

Employers looking for LPNs are not looking for MAs, otherwise they would hire the MA so they can pay them lower wages. If the LPN employment market is poor in your area, why didn't you expend your energy getting an RN license instead? RNs have the easier time finding work in most medical settings looking for specific skill sets.

I didnt expend my energy getting an RN license because I've been working on my prereqs and general ed for the RN program for 2 years and found out i'll be on the waitlist for possibly another 2 years and i do not have that kind of time, support, or money to be waiting 4-5 years before I can have a decent paying job. So...im taking the LVN route. So i could make money while in school.

And the reason I asked is because MA is not nursing experience BUT it is healthcare experience, which many new grads don't have at all except their time in school. I also mentioned that I also do Home care...you guys missed that part.

In my most humble opinion, you would have a slight advantage over a new grad LPN with no healthcare experience. However, you must understand the differences between MA and nursing to understand what my fellow nurses who answered you previously were trying to say.

Yes, both take vital signs, assist physicians, take histories, obtain lab specimens, input data into medical records, change dressings, draw blood, get an EKG, and maybe a few other things I left out.

However, respectfully, in my most humble opinion, the main differences between MA and nurses is making assessments and taking intervening actions upon patient's changing condition. The expected environments are different, thus the curriculum are different. LPNs are expected to be able to work in LTC, even if it's not your desired environment, all LPNs are expected to be able to have the competencies to work in that environment. In a LTC environment the nurse determines if the patient is getting better or worse by interpreting the vital signs, lab results, wounds, level of consciousness, pupil dilation, and a host of other assessments. In an office environment, after the MA takes history and vital signs (and possibly room and patient prep), the patient is seen by the doctor. This is not to put down MAs at all. Both have very important functions, but different, do to the different environments each is expected to have competencies. A new grad LPN with an EMT-B background would have an advantage over an MA background simply because EMT-Bs, when at the scene of an accident, have to make assessments. EMT-Bs, like MAs, take vital signs, do dressings, take histories, etc; but, they also do assessments. In fact, both nurses and EMTs both learn the OPQRST assessment.

Will you have an advantage having an MA background? A little (or a lot if applying at a doctor's office in a specialty you've worked in). But any advantage is an advantage.

I was a Patient Care Tech in a hospital for a while - vital signs, EKGs, bladder scans, lab specimen gathering, assisted in body audit assessments, set up different equipment for different treatments, blood glucose tests, charted I&O, charted various observations, let the nurse know if something really wrong (I called several code blues), prepared patient and room in ED, assisted ED doctor, sterilized equipment in ED. My PCT background definitely helped when I became a LTC LPN, but not as much as I'd thought, but it did help. After LPN orientation, being placed on the floor, with the patient's lives in MY hands, being accountable, yeah ...

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