I'm not exactly what you mean when you say to "advance in the LVN program". Typically, the LVN credential is the end of the line, unless you plan to move ahead with a Registered Nurse or ADN ( RN, Associate Degree Nurse) program. Some community colleges may offer programs like that as well as some specialty "medical" colleges of healthcare sciences or programs. All RN programs require a clinical component so even if you find an online program for LVN-RN there will still need to be some kind of clinical placement. Often it is up to you to find the location and the preceptor...and one that will take you on as well as be acceptable to your school program. Therefore, expect a bit of legwork! It will be worth it in the end though.
The current "thinking" in the field of hospital nursing is that the entry level "minimum credential requirement" for many hospitals is the BSN--and those who are hired as LVN or RN are required to complete their BSN in a certain amount of time. Some hospitals are now pushing for a MSN to be completed within a certain time frame after hire. Nursing and healthcare in general are becoming more complex and nurses are expected to step up and accept more responsibility--so the more education, the better!
That said, I do know a few CNA/LVN level staff who have been able to complete separate phlebotomy certification courses and who are certified phlebotomy techs in labs, blood donor centers, etc-essentially places where no medications are instilled through an IV line. Some also go back and take Medical Assisting courses to boost their skill levels and are able to be employed in MD offices, clinics, etc and are able to assume responsibilities not usually open to LVN.
I hope this gets you thinking of some ideas; and if you have questions, just hit me back and I'll try to help you work your way through!
ELIZABETH recommends the following next steps:
- Consider what you like and do not like about being an LVN-what kinds of tasks do you enjoy and what would you like to do that you aren't yet qualified to perform as an LVN
- Once you decide what appeals to you, do an online search for local programs that address what you think you would enjoy learning about, and make a list of programs, their costs and their accreditation
- Find out what licensing is required in your state of residence pertaining to what you want to do
- Detemrine how much time you have available to devote to school or program work in the face of your other commitments to see if this is a good time for you to try to expand your horizons either academically, or from a responsibility at work level.
- Have faith in yourself-trust yourself to know what appeals to you and does not, the pros and cons, and where your priorities are. Pursue your goals realistically and don;t bite off more than you can chew at 1 time!.