Paramedic or LPN???

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
375
214
43
RN is going to be the best value for money as well as have the best career flexibility and growth for the vast majority compared to LPN or medic. I would search out RN programs at public schools, and keep in mind that what school you went to has little bearing on your hireability.

LPNs are largely working in nursing homes, home health, and little else. Most of the clinic jobs LPNs used to work are being filled with MAs.

I don't think that starting a program with the end goal of LPN makes a whole lot of sense. There are few LPN programs anyway, and most now are through private schools that are very expensive. I get that life happens or that some people have specific circumstances that make this a good option, but I wouldn't generally recommend it. I'm am a bit biased as don't really like adult nursing and that is most of what LPNs work in now.

Paramedic is a good option if you want to work in EMS. Very few nurses will ever work in EMS, and it is incredibly difficulty to onto CCT/HEMS. I wouldn't use nursing as a way to work in EMS. The options for paramedics in a clinical setting are pretty limited outside of EMS (and are often restricted far below that of nursing in most settings like EDs). Without a push towards at least a baccalaureate requirement I doubt we will really be seeing any development of a real advanced practice paramedic role like in some other countries.

The nice thing about nursing is that I currently work in EDs and inpatient critical care, but if I wanted to do something lower stress I could easily do it. If I had a significant medical issue I could still work telephone triage or some other desk job. I can pursue advanced practice, or if I loose my mind I could do management (gag).

I worked full time through nursing school, so I definitely think it is doable. I think the stress of the nursing school shenanigans far exceeded the stress of time management.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
391
132
43
LPN is just not worth it.

My wife has been an LPN for 10 years, we've struggled to find time to send her to RN school. The job outlook is terrible, the job itself sucks, and the pay sucks.

The question should be RN vs paramedic, which is more complicated. EMS is fun, but not forever. RN/BSN opens up so many different career paths.
 

RunnerD1987

Forum Crew Member
80
1
8
LPN is just not worth it.

My wife has been an LPN for 10 years, we've struggled to find time to send her to RN school. The job outlook is terrible, the job itself sucks, and the pay sucks.

The question should be RN vs paramedic, which is more complicated. EMS is fun, but not forever. RN/BSN opens up so many different career paths.
For me the question is which one will allow me to work closer to home (Both LPN and Medic), offer the same pay I make (LPN & Medic), offer the best hours (Both have possibility of staying extra hours and being mandated). Plus with LPN don't know much about Medics is that there is a lot of places that offer Baylor shifts where we live and 11p to 7a openings. From the wife not a fan of nights just due to the fact of working nights. Said the shift was the best when she picked up because you rarely stay past your shift. The only downside is you have 50 to 60 patients usually to take care of at night. With Medic school program is the most cost effective program.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
391
132
43
For me the question is which one will allow me to work closer to home (Both LPN and Medic), offer the same pay I make (LPN & Medic), offer the best hours (Both have possibility of staying extra hours and being mandated). Plus with LPN don't know much about Medics is that there is a lot of places that offer Baylor shifts where we live and 11p to 7a openings. From the wife not a fan of nights just due to the fact of working nights. Said the shift was the best when she picked up because you rarely stay past your shift. The only downside is you have 50 to 60 patients usually to take care of at night. With Medic school program is the most cost effective program.
Are you saying there's LPN jobs but not RN jobs in your area?

My wife and I were both suckered with the "it's less time in school, less tuition, and we can get working in NURSING so much quicker, plus... she can go back to RN school as soon as feasible". The reality is that she desperately wishes she could go back in time and take the extra year to get her RN, which would allow her to make LITERALLY double what she's making now and have INFINITELY more job opportunities.

Here - LPNs are relegated to MA work in doctors offices or passing pills in nursing homes. There are occasional "cool" LPN jobs but they are few and far between and hard to get..

If you really want to go the LPN route, that's fine - but please go into it with the full knowledge of what you're getting into and not the recruitment poster..
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
375
214
43
The only downside is you have 50 to 60 patients usually to take care of at night.
You have literally one minute per patient per hour to assess, give any order treatments and meds, verify and ensure the safety of orders, and document. How is that safe? Why would this ever be appealing?

If my options were 60 patients in a nursing home or EMS I would choose EMS every time.
 

RunnerD1987

Forum Crew Member
80
1
8
Are you saying there's LPN jobs but not RN jobs in your area?

My wife and I were both suckered with the "it's less time in school, less tuition, and we can get working in NURSING so much quicker, plus... she can go back to RN school as soon as feasible". The reality is that she desperately wishes she could go back in time and take the extra year to get her RN, which would allow her to make LITERALLY double what she's making now and have INFINITELY more job opportunities.

Here - LPNs are relegated to MA work in doctors offices or passing pills in nursing homes. There are occasional "cool" LPN jobs but they are few and far between and hard to get..

If you really want to go the LPN route, that's fine - but please go into it with the full knowledge of what you're getting into and not the recruitment poster..
I am in a rock and a hard place.
Dropping full time now working 32 hours I'll see a drop of pay from $1600 biweekly to $1050 biweekly. With my debt $1050 is what I make now with debt and the 400 miles I travel to work.

If I leave my job get a night hospital gig closer to home I will make less pay. Using my 403 and PTO money from work can reduce my debtand with less miles on the road will break even with my current monthly income after debt is factored in or slightly more a month.

Game plan is from March of next year to September of next year if unable to find a night gig have to decide between LPN or Medic route to get to my RN.

Also was thinking so where the Wife and I are moving to in CT there is 8 hospitals less than 20 miles or less away. 5 that are 30 miles or less away. So there are a few areas to look for work. The town moving to hope to volly for their organization. Their ambulance company has ALS assistance from Medics next town over. The Medics are one of 3 in the State that are Hospital Based. So was hoping could make connections. Maybe find an EMT gig with them and get my Medic license can work with them while getting my BSN. The Medic program interested in works in the same classrooms and labs as the Nursing students interested in obtaining my BSN from.

Do appreciate the feedback.
 
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FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
391
132
43
Game plan is from March of next year to September of next year if unable to find a night gig have to decide between LPN or Medic route to get to my RN.
If you are doing the LPN or medic merely as an intermediary step to RN, then the answer is LPN (if you really truly can't go straight to RN).

Medic to RN is a convoluted path and nowhere near as clean as LPN to RN.

To reiterate my opinion based on what I've seen with my wife, taking any intermediary step instead of just driving straight through to RN is a waste of time and money.
 

RunnerD1987

Forum Crew Member
80
1
8
If you are doing the LPN or medic merely as an intermediary step to RN, then the answer is LPN (if you really truly can't go straight to RN).

Medic to RN is a convoluted path and nowhere near as clean as LPN to RN.

To reiterate my opinion based on what I've seen with my wife, taking any intermediary step instead of just driving straight through to RN is a waste of time and money.
True true
As you know New England is expensive. If I have to pay $40,000 for education instead of $30,000 not a huge loss. Path may be longer.

Only concern is the Hospital is one of 3 stand alone hospital's in the State. If they do get bought out wondering how it will effect working at that hospital. They are the only ambulance service for the town and surrounding 2 towns. Pay is around $28 an hour. Believe AP1 & 2 can be used towards nursing prerequisites.
 

Bishop2047

Forum Probie
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3
Any chance this hospital has set a precedent of assisting LPNs who wished to upgrade to RNs? This should certainly factor into your choice, as I doubt any would consider a Medic to RN tuition reimbursement.

I have a poor understanding of LPNs job opportunities in the states (from Canada where LPNs work anywhere that RNs are) but I understand it varies dramatically by state.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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I haven’t read all the replies here. Bottom line is that despite similarities in the length of the required initial education, LPN and paramedic are about as different roles as you can imagine.

Either one will provide you with plenty of employment options. Either one will pay the bills. Do whichever one you think you’ll like better, and/or moves you more in the direction of your ultimate career goals.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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Co-worker worked 48 hours straight at FT job, 24-36 hours a week at PT job (at hospital), both as a medic while doing RN in 5 semesters FT; he graduated; and is now working 48 hours straight as a medic and 36 hours as a RN/medic. making around $150K
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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808
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Co-worker worked 48 hours straight at FT job, 24-36 hours a week at PT job (at hospital), both as a medic while doing RN in 5 semesters FT; he graduated; and is now working 48 hours straight as a medic and 36 hours as a RN/medic. making around $150K
Because one guy managed to survive with no life and a potentially dangerous work schedule doesn't mean others can or should be encouraged.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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Co-worker worked 48 hours straight at FT job, 24-36 hours a week at PT job (at hospital), both as a medic while doing RN in 5 semesters FT; he graduated; and is now working 48 hours straight as a medic and 36 hours as a RN/medic. making around $150K
That’s a crappy way to live, and it’s not even good money for how much he works.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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If you want to make 150K with an OT adjusted averaged wage of $32/hr you gotta work 72hr/wk (valued at 88hr). 2 days off aren't 2 days off if you spend one recovering from the 48 and the other doing basic life maintenance after 3x12 before going in for the next 48.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
4,345
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Considering the costs of going RN vs LPN vs Paramedic, it might be cheaper in the long run to move to another area to both work and go to school. I am both an RN and a Paramedic. I make far more as an RN than I do as a Paramedic. The LPN/LVN has been greatly pushed out of acute care and, as stated above, LPN and Paramedic are very different. Where I went to school, the LVN program was 3 semesters long, 10 units/semester. The RN program was 4 Semesters long and 12 units/semester. It's not really that much longer of an investment in your time to do RN.

Also, if you're having to commute 400 miles to your job, you might want to reconsider your job. That eats into your income very quickly. You'll have to do the math. A job that pays less but is closer to home may actually net you a greater income.

Summit is also very much correct in that if you're working so much that you only get a couple days off per week (and you're doing 12's), you really won't have much of a "life" as you'll be recovering on day 6 and tending to home needs on day 7. You'll pretty much be tired all the time. I've been there.

My advice: keep applying to RN school. Eventually you'll get in. It took me 4 years, but I kept at it. Yes, I applied to nursing schools for 8 straight semesters. I got in, I worked (and studied) my tail off, and I just started my 5th year in the ED.
 

RunnerD1987

Forum Crew Member
80
1
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Considering the costs of going RN vs LPN vs Paramedic, it might be cheaper in the long run to move to another area to both work and go to school. I am both an RN and a Paramedic. I make far more as an RN than I do as a Paramedic. The LPN/LVN has been greatly pushed out of acute care and, as stated above, LPN and Paramedic are very different. Where I went to school, the LVN program was 3 semesters long, 10 units/semester. The RN program was 4 Semesters long and 12 units/semester. It's not really that much longer of an investment in your time to do RN.

Also, if you're having to commute 400 miles to your job, you might want to reconsider your job. That eats into your income very quickly. You'll have to do the math. A job that pays less but is closer to home may actually net you a greater income.

Summit is also very much correct in that if you're working so much that you only get a couple days off per week (and you're doing 12's), you really won't have much of a "life" as you'll be recovering on day 6 and tending to home needs on day 7. You'll pretty much be tired all the time. I've been there.

My advice: keep applying to RN school. Eventually you'll get in. It took me 4 years, but I kept at it. Yes, I applied to nursing schools for 8 straight semesters. I got in, I worked (and studied) my tail off, and I just started my 5th year in the ED.
Love my job and the people I work with!

With us moving closer to family will add an extra 60 miles a week to my commute which I feel will eventually burn me out.

Just gotta stick it out for a year for the newborn and get my finances in order. See where things go from there.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
503
119
43
What do you do now? do you work full time? what is your current title?

you have a BS; as Josh said, look at BS -> BSN programs. 40k for an LPN is pretty pricy; 60k for an RN is even moreso. are there any other options in your area?

I know several medics who took the excelsior program to get their RN. Most are happy, did the program part time, and were successful in their transition. Others didn't complete the program, and are still on a truck.
Excelsior is a good option, except in California. Not accepted. Not sure if there are other states.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN
503
119
43
I am in a rock and a hard place.
Dropping full time now working 32 hours I'll see a drop of pay from $1600 biweekly to $1050 biweekly. With my debt $1050 is what I make now with debt and the 400 miles I travel to work.

If I leave my job get a night hospital gig closer to home I will make less pay. Using my 403 and PTO money from work can reduce my debtand with less miles on the road will break even with my current monthly income after debt is factored in or slightly more a month.

Game plan is from March of next year to September of next year if unable to find a night gig have to decide between LPN or Medic route to get to my RN.

Also was thinking so where the Wife and I are moving to in CT there is 8 hospitals less than 20 miles or less away. 5 that are 30 miles or less away. So there are a few areas to look for work. The town moving to hope to volly for their organization. Their ambulance company has ALS assistance from Medics next town over. The Medics are one of 3 in the State that are Hospital Based. So was hoping could make connections. Maybe find an EMT gig with them and get my Medic license can work with them while getting my BSN. The Medic program interested in works in the same classrooms and labs as the Nursing students interested in obtaining my BSN from.

Do appreciate the feedback.
You keep mentioning debt. It sounds like a major factor. Reduce/eliminate your debt, then make the change. And go EMS or RN, not LPN.
 

SandpitMedic

Shock&Awe
1,767
818
113
Considering the costs of going RN vs LPN vs Paramedic, it might be cheaper in the long run to move to another area to both work and go to school. I am both an RN and a Paramedic. I make far more as an RN than I do as a Paramedic. The LPN/LVN has been greatly pushed out of acute care and, as stated above, LPN and Paramedic are very different. Where I went to school, the LVN program was 3 semesters long, 10 units/semester. The RN program was 4 Semesters long and 12 units/semester. It's not really that much longer of an investment in your time to do RN.

Also, if you're having to commute 400 miles to your job, you might want to reconsider your job. That eats into your income very quickly. You'll have to do the math. A job that pays less but is closer to home may actually net you a greater income.

Summit is also very much correct in that if you're working so much that you only get a couple days off per week (and you're doing 12's), you really won't have much of a "life" as you'll be recovering on day 6 and tending to home needs on day 7. You'll pretty much be tired all the time. I've been there.

My advice: keep applying to RN school. Eventually you'll get in. It took me 4 years, but I kept at it. Yes, I applied to nursing schools for 8 straight semesters. I got in, I worked (and studied) my tail off, and I just started my 5th year in the ED.
I love a good success story.

Why anyone would bother with an LPN is beyond me. It’s a step, not a destination...An unnecessary step if you ask me, but to each their own.
 

akflightmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
3,318
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Co-worker worked 48 hours straight at FT job, 24-36 hours a week at PT job (at hospital), both as a medic while doing RN in 5 semesters FT; he graduated; and is now working 48 hours straight as a medic and 36 hours as a RN/medic. making around $150K

Nothing like averaging $34 an hour for no life.... :)
 
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