Student Nurse, prn

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Just to clear things up...

I appreciate all the nice comments from my most recent post.

I blogged about this long ago (but briefly) on my career path. So, I just want to clear things up.

I will be an LVN when I am finished with my current program.
For some folks they are thinking what's the difference? Other are thinking why would you do that?-- RN's make more $.

So, first I'll explain the difference to non-medical folks. RN is Registered Nurse and LVN or LPN in some states is Licensed Vocational or Licensed Practical Nurse. I can only speak for the difference in California. An LVN can do all the same stuff an RN can do when licensed except for anything IV related. We can however take an IV certification course and do some of the IV stuff. To keep it simple. An LVN can NOT inject anything directly into an IV catheter (even if certified). After certification we can hang IV fluids and blood. Again this is the simplistic version. Procedurally there are some very technical and specialized things also but as far as routine tasks that is the difference.

Now the better question is why did Student Nurse, prn choose LVN and not RN? A number of reasons. First, I am changing my career mid-life. This is primarily because I am a single parent.

I had a career before my divorce that I LOVED. It was the best job I ever had. I was a Corporate Concierge at HP in Silicon Valley. Catering to the elite HP executive guests in a high tech customer briefing center. I have always been in the travel/hospitality field and loved it. I am a people person and calm problem solver. My career path however did not pay well. Perks were off the charts--dining out comp, theatre in San Fran, wineries, you name it but I was never going to be able to raise two girls on that salary in the Bay Area.

I also knew I never be able to handle the stress of school, working and my girls at the same time. So, logically the job went bye-bye. I moved to an more affordable area of California bought a house and started my pre-requisite classes at a local community college. I had budgeted that funds would be able to last the length of the program if I got in quickly but only for the LVN program because the classes required for the RN program are more of the harder sciences and etc. I didn't have time to wait to complete them while not working.

I finished my pre-req's, worked for a while as a nursing assistant, and applied for the LVN program. I got in on the FIRST try (it's lottery based so luck is the only factor).

So, here I am ALMOST broke (haven't touched my IRA yet) and applying for a student loan to get me through the last few months but the sanity base is the equity in my house is AWESOME, gotta love CA.

Once I finish this and I am licensed I will go back and take the remaining pre-req's for the RN program --one night class at a time. And then apply for the step-up program geared for LVN who want to be RN's so I will get there someday.
For now I will earn a decent salary in the field I want to be in while I get to my ultimate goal, RN.


  • I'd have loved to have had you as a nurse when I was in hospital having my kids. You seem to have the right temperament and spunk for that....

    By Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 10:58 AM  

  • Ah nice blog!! When I went to school for nurse the average age was 45. Most changed their careers and decided for a change.

    I think any school is stressful. Think you should stick it out for RN. Just and extra jump. With a good support team of family and friends, perhaps even fellow bloggers you should do great.

    I didn't go bact to school til years after obtaining my Associated Degree in Nursing. But after my divorce, I found the time and my job payed for it.

    Felicia Hairston
    RN, BSN, Touched Nite Nurse

    By Blogger Felicia, at 11:57 PM  

  • I too am in the LPN program here. I didn't choose this route, it sort of happened. I lost my job of 14 yrs that I enjoyed over something stupid (a whole different story) so when my husband became ill, I decided that I needed a job that I would love, knew I'd be good at and something to support my two young children. So, I too enrolled at my local community college (don't u just love CC???) I began all my pre-reqs for the RN (associate degree) program. I had to complete all the basics before I could petition. Then I found out that I had to come a CNA before petitioning in. Then the shocker, a 3 year waiting list! I still had 2 terms left to petition, but luck was on my side and the LPN program opened up and I petitioned while still taking A&P (they allowed this!) and I begin the LPN program this fall!!! I get a head start this summer with some classes. I will go on for my RN degree, but taking this route will be quicker!

    Good luck to you! I am struggling with the urinary system right now in A&P lecture by flying by in lab. Wish me luck, I have 2 exams left!!!!

    Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger Eve C., at 11:45 PM  

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