How to Find the Right LPN Program in Bartow Florida
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Bartow FL that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Bartow FL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Florida. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Bartow FL health 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, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in Florida that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bartow FL, and that the majority of 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bartow FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bartow FL area. The duration of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Florida 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Bartow FL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bartow FL as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the Bartow FL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Florida schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bartow FL school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Bartow FL 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Bartow FL area to help 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Florida require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Bartow FL area.
Select the Right LPN Degree Bartow 33830
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Bartow FL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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