How to Choose an LPN College in Las Animas Colorado
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Las Animas CO that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they perform in the Las Animas CO health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the Las Animas CO health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Colorado that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Las Animas CO, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Las Animas CO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Colorado community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress 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 instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Las Animas CO area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Las Animas CO area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Las Animas CO as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Las Animas CO school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Las Animas CO school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Las Animas CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Las Animas CO area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Colorado require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Las Animas CO area.
Pick the Right LPN Course Las Animas 81054
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Las Animas CO.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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