Jump to content

Your advice wanted re: nsg training


I realize this is a rather silly thing to post about, but I am going to ask anyway since I am so uncertain about what to do.

Nursing and medical work in general has always been something I've been interested in and something I've wanted to do. I am two years out of high school in Alberta and anxious to get on with doing something. I have the reqs/marks to get into pretty much anything. I have just started as an NA in LTC (on-the-job training). However, I would like to be able to do things beyond baths and feeding (much as I enjoy doing those). A HCA certificate would be a possibility, although the scope is awfully limited. Doing an LPN diploma looks great, but from what I understand, you don't know as much as an RN, nor can you make many decisions. (Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.) As well, I would rather work through the program fairly quickly, but via distance, and I don't think anywhere has a FT distance LPN program. I could go into the degree program (I've applied, actually), yet I dread four years in school. I have serious doubts about whether it would be worth four long years...six (six!) when you include the year's wait til September and another year working in Canada after I finish the program.

I expect to be back overseas working in the health field at some point; the sooner the better. (If I did a bachelor's, I would work a year in Canada before going overseas to work, however.) I recently went and did a stint in a developing country in a home for the mentally ill/elderly/handicapped and LOVED it. There's a strong sense of calling in me to be there rather than there.

Can I ask your advice and wisdom? What would you do in my situation, from the details I've given you? Would you get the HCA certificate, then work a while, then do the LPN diploma, and then the BScN? Would you torture yourself with six more years in Canada when you sense a calling to be overseas? Would you do a nursing degree in a developing country (say, India, Egypt, Pakistan)? Would you jump into the LPN diploma and see how it goes? Or would you do something else altogether?

There are currently no online or distance LPN programs in the US. At first shot, I always would recommend that one pursue an RN license as this level provides the most work opportunities. You limit yourself as an LPN, but there is a situation where getting an LPN license makes sense. If one needs to work immediately or if one wants to use the LPN as a stepping stone to get into an RN program come to mind. In the US, many find it easier to enter crowded RN programs by using the LPN to RN bridge. Otherwise they may not get in at all or have to wait a long time or deal with a lottery system. If you decide to go the RN route, you should pursue the BScN as I believe most overseas countries require that level of education for foreign educated nurses. Congratulations on your desire to pursue nursing and hope you find the solution that is good for you.

Thanks for responding, caliotter3! I would definitely go the bachelor's route...if I wanted to. :(


Has 18 years experience.

OK, I'm an Alberta LPN. My scope of practice is very close to that of the RNs on my unit. I can not initiate the blood transfusion or the first bag of TPN. That is pretty standard across North America.

Our training/education is now roughly the equivalent of the old two year diploma and hospital based RN programme.

To say that we don't know as much as an RN is true in some respects because we are educated differently. Ours is a more "practical" hands on education. I recieved instruction on how to insert an NG tube but due to hospital policy I cannot insert one, my LPN friend who works in a nearby hospital can. How much of our education we can utilize is often dependant on the facilty that we work in.

If you were to stand at the nursing station on my unit, you would not be able to determine who the RN and the LPNs are. We each carry a five patient load, do iv starts, hang iv meds, change wound vacs and assess and educate patients.

LPNs who have dialysis, orthopedics or operating room skills can work overseas. I've known several who have gone on medical mission.

You don't have to wait until September to start a degree course. Many nursing schools start in January, or you could be doing your required electives.

It's strange that you see living in Canada as "a torture" when so many people are desiring to come here.

I agree with Fiona with respect to the knowledge and scope of LPNs and RNs. I think the main difference is that RNs are generaly taught more of the "why" stuff in addition to the "how" stuff. Unfortunately, I have rarely if ever seen an LPN used to their full capacities. I think they have a lot more to offer than most hospitals realize.


Specializes in CCU.

I have meet LPN's:redpinkhe that were way smarter and better than RN's. But, I do not know if they learn all of it in school, I doubt it since one way or the other you have to continue improving yourself, and you learn a lot on the job.

If I was you, I would continue been a nurse's aide while finishing your RN classes; trust me you can learn a lot, ask nurses to accompany them in Foley insertion, suction... YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO TALK AND DEAL WITH PEOPLE!

Being a nurse's aide should be mandatory to BSNRN/MD/NP/PA... they would learn about what goes on in nursing homes and the drama of people and sometimes... miracles!

It is compassion that is hard to learn.

Try to practice 1 year on the med-surg floor before moving away; so you have some kind of idea what to do, and overcome the initial beginners stress and forget a little about the honeymoon phase. You will get self confidence and this will help you make the best decisions in your practice.

Trust me, 4-5-6 years in a lifetime is nothing to get an education... there is people who needs you now and all the time, later there and here too:saint:

Good luck!:up:

This topic is now closed to further replies.