How to Choose an LPN School in Indianapolis Indiana
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Indianapolis IN that will deliver the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Indianapolis IN health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Indiana. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment 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 everyday job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the Indianapolis IN medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available in Indiana that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Indianapolis IN, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Indianapolis IN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Indiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Indiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 2 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 attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to 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 Indianapolis IN area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Indianapolis IN area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Indianapolis IN as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. 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 pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Indianapolis IN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Indianapolis IN school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Indiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Indianapolis IN 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 schools 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 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Indianapolis IN area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Indiana require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Indianapolis IN area.
Choose the Right LPN School Indianapolis 46201
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Indianapolis IN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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