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Why some students take Practical Nursing before the RN program

CLC has a lot of options when it comes to Nursing Programs. (See below). Here, we’ll talk with 4 current Nursing students who chose to take the Practical Nursing Diploma first, and then the Nursing A.S. Degree (Advanced Standing), and why it helped them.

Tyler Davidson 
  1. Educational journey at CLC: I have complete the information technology A.A.S Program, PN program, and after December 12th I will have completed the RN program. I plan to work with my RN degree for awhile and may consider furthering my education later.
  2. Why did you choose to take the PN program before the RN program? I chose to take the PN program first so I could work as an LPN while going on to get my RN. This allowed me to gain much needed experience and utilize my nursing skills and judgement that I learned through the program.
  3. What were the benefits? The PN program prepared us phenomenally for the RN program. We covered the same material in less time and honestly the whole RN program felt more like a review with just a little deeper knowledge into the subjects.
  4. What advice would you give to future nursing students? My advice would be to work your way up through the nursing areas. It gives you much needed insight into what each role is able to do and what they contribute to the team as a whole. Start as a CNA and work while going for LPN, work as an LPN as your go for the RN, and so on. This allows you to continue to further your education while tying it all together with stuff you learn.
  5. Anything else you would like to add? The PN program is truly something to experience. The instructors are personable, they work side-by-side with all students and are always there for questions. They are truly diamonds in the rough.

Randy Massicotte

Long Prairie

  1. Educational journey at CLC : I have taken and completed the PN program and now the ADN program.
  2. Why did you choose to take the PN program before the RN program? By taking the PN program first I was able to find a job to get a little over a years worth of nursing experience (and get paid) while I was taking the RN courses.
  3. What were the benefits? Benefits-able to work and gain nursing experience.
  4. What advice would you give to future nursing students? Nursing school is hard. You get out of it what you put into it so study ALL the time. Take every assignment and test seriously and put 100% effort into everything. It will pay dividends in the end.
  5. Anything else you would like to add? The instructors at CLC are the best in the business. Every single one of them wants YOU to succeed. They are very knowledgeable, friendly and willing to give anyone who tries every possible opportunity to learn and become the best nurses in the industry. If you tell a company that you graduated from CLC, they get excited and want to know what they can do to have you work for them!

Tracy Isaacson

Saint Cloud

  1. Educational journey at CLC: I have completed my AA degree, LPN diploma, and am currently in the ADN Nursing program. I plan to complete my BSN eventually, but as of now I am unsure of which college I will attend for that and when.
  2. I actually choose the PN program first because I was a part of a Workers Disclosure Program, and they would only help pay for 130 weeks of school, which would not have been enough time for me to complete the RN. They required me to have at least one program completed by the end of those 130 weeks, so I decided to just complete the PN program. After completing the PN program, the Career Force Center in Saint Cloud offered to help me pay for school so I could continue my education. I was an excellent student in the PN program graduating with Honors and they didn’t want to see me stop my education and wanted to help me meet my goals, which were to eventually become an RN. I have always wanted to be a nurse.
  3. There are so many benefits completing the PN program before the RN program. I felt that the PN program gave me the knowledge of nursing from every aspect. Everything we learned in the PN program carried right over into the RN program, just within a different role. It really helped me learn what the roles of an LPN are compared to the RN. The PN program taught a lot of the same content that I am currently learning, which has helped me retain important information, which in the end will make me a better RN. I feel like the clinical experiences as an LPN built my confidence going into clinicals as an RN. The PN program’s skills course was very beneficial for me. Learning the skills within the lab setting and then being tested out in front of an instructor was nerve racking however, it has helped me become more confident when caring for my patients. Being put on the spot and testing my nursing skills is what I needed to get over the fears of not trusting my knowledge. The best part was that it wasn’t on an actual patient, it was on a manikin with your instructor observing where you are able to make mistakes and learn from them before going out into the real world.
  4. My advice for future nursing students is to complete the PN program before the RN program. You will not regret it. The PN program gives you the basic knowledge of what it takes to become a nurse which will eventually benefit you in the RN program. After getting the education from the PN program, it really helped me understand the information more in depth throughout the RN program. I don’t have to sit and memorize the diseases; I already learned about them and now I am getting the chance to fully understand them.
  5. CLC PN and RN program have amazing faculty and will guide you every step of the way all you need to do is believe in yourself. Was it easy? NO. But is it possible? YES!
  1. Educational journey at CLC: AA/AAS degree, Dental Assisting-Diploma, Practical Nursing Diploma, ADN program (graduate this year), and planning to attend an online college for my BSN.
  2. Why did you choose to take the PN program before the RN program? I got a lot of feedback from current registered nurses, many if not all of them that took the PN program before the RN program told me it was the best move to make. I took this advice and don’t regret it one bit.
  3. What were the benefits? You learn A LOT and gain so much experience in such a short time. When you finish the PN program, you feel as if you should already be an RN with all this knowledge. When transferring from the PN to the RN (Advanced Standing classes) I felt so confident. I had the background knowledge already; it was just learning how to utilize this knowledge. Many students who took the Traditional route, felt as if we (ADN) students had so much more knowledge and knew more/had a better advantage then them- (we heard this A LOT). The material we learned (entering 3rd semester ADN- to the rest of 4th semester ADN) we had learned/gained some knowledge on most of it in the PN program. This refresher and continued education made things so easy! It has been the best and most smooth process I’ve ever done. Very thankful I was able to do this. Plus, the teachers are amazing!
  4. What advice would you give to future nursing students? Honestly, follow your gut. I always had planned the traditional route in the nursing program, thinking this was way “easier.” Then after the advice I received, I felt doing PN would be my best option and it absolutely was! Nursing school is no joke. You give up a lot of your “fun” time and sacrifice time with friends and family. It feels as somedays this isn’t what you were meant to do or “it’s too hard.” Keep going. I felt this many times and manage to pass my hardest semester with straight As. It was only possible with complete dedication and time put in to complete my work and studies. And if you’re ever questioning or doubting yourself, remember why you wanted to become a nurse.
  5. Anything else you would like to add? No matter what you choose, work hard and don’t give up!

About Jessie Perrine

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