How to Select an LPN College in Laguna Niguel California
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Laguna Niguel CA that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Laguna Niguel CA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being governed by each state, the Laguna Niguel CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered in California that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Laguna Niguel CA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Laguna Niguel CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Laguna Niguel CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many Laguna Niguel CA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Laguna Niguel CA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Laguna Niguel CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Laguna Niguel CA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Laguna Niguel CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Laguna Niguel CA area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in California require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Laguna Niguel CA area.
Select the Right LPN College Laguna Niguel 92607
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Laguna Niguel CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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