How to Pick an LPN College in Cantonment Florida
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Cantonment FL that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than 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. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they carry out in the Cantonment FL medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Florida. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing 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, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Cantonment FL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Florida that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cantonment FL, and that most 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cantonment FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Florida community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 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.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cantonment FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Cantonment FL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little 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
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Cantonment FL and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Cantonment FL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Florida schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cantonment FL school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Cantonment FL 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative 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 contacts in the Cantonment FL area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Florida require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Cantonment FL area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Cantonment 32533
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Cantonment FL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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