How to Find the Right LPN School in Lake Bluff Illinois
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Lake Bluff IL that will deliver the necessary training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating 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 significant factors, 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 also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, 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 many functions that they complete in the Lake Bluff IL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. Although 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 healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the Lake Bluff IL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Illinois that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 kind 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lake Bluff IL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance 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 Lake Bluff IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lake Bluff IL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many Lake Bluff IL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Lake Bluff IL along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the Lake Bluff IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Illinois 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lake Bluff IL school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Lake Bluff IL 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 displeased 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 relationships in the Lake Bluff IL area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Lake Bluff IL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Lake Bluff 60044
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Lake Bluff IL.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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