How to Select an LPN Program in East Saint Louis Illinois
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in East Saint Louis IL that will furnish the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 also. 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 to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the East Saint Louis IL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. While 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 medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the East Saint Louis IL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered in Illinois that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in East Saint Louis IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the East Saint Louis IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Illinois 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 want 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 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the East Saint Louis IL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain East Saint Louis IL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little 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.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to East Saint Louis IL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the East Saint Louis IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Illinois 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the East Saint Louis IL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby East Saint Louis IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the East Saint Louis IL 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the East Saint Louis IL area.
Select the Right LPN Program East Saint Louis 62201
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in East Saint Louis IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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