How to Pick an LPN Program in Longwood Florida
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Longwood FL that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical 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 look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the role 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 a number of duties that they accomplish in the Longwood FL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Florida. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the Longwood FL 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, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Florida that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Longwood FL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Longwood FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some 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 Longwood FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many Longwood FL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Longwood FL along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Longwood FL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Florida schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Longwood FL school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Longwood 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Longwood FL area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Florida require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Longwood FL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Longwood 32750
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Longwood FL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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