How to Pick an LPN School in Maple Park Illinois
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Maple Park IL that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside 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 health care 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 cover in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 cover later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the role 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 tasks that they accomplish in the Maple Park IL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Maple Park IL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Illinois that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. 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. No matter 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Maple Park IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Maple Park IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Maple Park IL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure 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 suggestion is to check 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Maple Park IL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on 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 pointers to begin 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Maple Park IL and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Maple Park IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Maple Park IL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Maple Park 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 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 displeased 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Maple Park IL area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Maple Park IL area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Maple Park 60151
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Maple Park IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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