LPN Training Programs in Indiana

How to Select an LPN College in Indiana

Indiana LPN taking patient vital signsNow that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Indiana that will provide the appropriate instruction. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

LPN and LVN Job Functions

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Indiana healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Indiana. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities can include:

  • Measuring vital signs
  • Providing medications
  • Starting IV drips
  • Observing patients
  • Taking blood or urine samples
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures

Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the Indiana medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Programs

There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available in Indiana that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Other Nursing Degree Options

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Indiana.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Indiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Indiana 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 might want 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 typically 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 received 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Indiana board of nursing for any state mandates.

CNA Training

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Indiana to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

LPN working in Indiana nursing homeEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Indiana schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost 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 convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Indiana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Indiana schools.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Indiana school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local 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 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in Indiana to help students attain a position.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Indiana require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many 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 placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right LPN Training in Indiana

Picking|Choosing|Selecting|Deciding on|Enrolling in} the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 Indiana.

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