You can start directly in a registered nurse (R.N.) program, or you may want to start in a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a certified nurse assistant (CNA) program. Because LPN and CNA programs require less initial education, you can start working sooner.
A_few nursing career paths stories:
“In high school, I took a course called orientation to health occupations. I enjoyed it so much I knew I wanted to get into health care at age 17. I became a CNA, and I found that experience so fulfilling I became an R.N. Now I’m an associate head nurse. By taking advantage of the hospital’s loan forgiveness program, I was able to make the dreams of my youth a reality.”
“I started as a CNA when I was 16. At 20, I became an LPN and worked for two years before attending R.N. school at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill. I graduated at age 25. Now, I’m a nurse manager.
“I began my first career in medicine working as an EKG tech. Later, I became a medical assistant and a paramedic. Then, I stayed home with my children during their grade school years and eventually began taking a few prerequisites throughout several semesters. At age 40, I entered nursing school — one of the most rewarding achievements of my life. Now, I work full time as a cardiac R.N. I truly love seeing patients recover and regain good health.”