How to Pick an LPN Program in Delta Colorado
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Delta CO that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Delta CO healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the Delta CO health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered in Colorado that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Delta CO, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Delta CO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Delta CO area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some Delta CO area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Delta CO and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Delta CO school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Colorado schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Delta CO school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Delta CO 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 colleges you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Delta CO area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Colorado require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of 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 Delta CO area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Delta 81416
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Delta CO.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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