How to Enroll In an LPN College in Highland Illinois
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Highland IL that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Highland IL health 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 monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being regulated by each state, the Highland IL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in Illinois that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, 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 alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Highland IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Highland IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Highland IL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Highland IL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Highland IL as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Highland IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with 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 imperative that the Highland IL school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Highland 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Highland IL area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Highland IL area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Highland 62249
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Highland IL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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