The Truth (and Lies) about Taking Medical Assistant Programs to Become an LVN

as we started this blog, we looked at other blogs and forums to see what topics were most relevant to the students we are trying to serve. one topic that came up regularly was how some students were told that they could start as a medical assistant and work their way up to an LVN/LPN then to eventually get to an RN. we wanted to look into this and we asked some of our experts about this approach. they came back with a simple clear answer – don’t do it.

“MA is NOT a stepping stone for LVN. As much as some would like it to be, it is not. There is no benefit for someone to be in MA prior to becoming an LVN.”, says a former recent VP of Education at a career college. while one might concede that experience in the health care industry might help one to understand how the it works better, the skills do not overlap significantly.

more importantly, there is no transferable credits available through a certified medical assisting program that will be accepted into an accredited LVN program. the student will not speed up or reduce the cost of his/her LVN training, especially if she is attending a for-profit institution. this is verifiable, you should ask your admissions rep to confirm.

why would an admissions representative suggest this solution? more than likely, the prospect did not perform well on the entrance exam for the LVN program or the next start for the LVN program is full. so the admission representative has two choices:

1. lose the start and tuition and risk not making his/her goal or bonus or
2. sell this concept and potentially get TWO starts out of this (the MA start now and the LVN start after the MA program is complete).

for a for-profit institution focused only on the bottom line, this is an easy decision – deceive the prospect and take the money.

so, before you go to a for-profit school for one of these programs – do your homework first. do you want to be a medical assistant or an LVN? below is a table to help you decide.

Medical Assistant vs. LVN

Medical Assistant vs. LVN

one you decide which program more suits what you what to do, then start to research the school you would like to attend. we suggest that you look at our page entitled “What’s the Hurry?” and research all the details of the school and your finances. the younger you are, the more time you have and the more you should know before you start.

if you decide that you want to be an LVN, then study and prepare to pass the test. adjust your schedule for the length of the program to prepare for clinical rotations and studying. be prepared everyday to get the most out of the program. if you do not pass the entrance test, do NOT consider taking the MA program unless you want to become a medical assistant. no matter what the rep says, you will gain nothing by spending $15K in an medical assistant program. you are better to study and pass the test the second time than to spend the money. if the rep insists or tells you that you will significantly benefit from the MA program to get into the LVN program, you should seriously considering NOT taking your classes at that institution. Clearly they are more interested in your $15K than your future.

best of luck in your decision. we hope this has helped.


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