How to Select an LPN College in Ankeny Iowa
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Ankeny IA that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for 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 duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, 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 cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Ankeny IA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the Ankeny IA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Iowa that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ankeny IA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ankeny IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn 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 Iowa 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 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ankeny IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Ankeny IA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa 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 site of the school relative to Ankeny IA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Ankeny IA 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 Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Ankeny IA school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa 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 agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Ankeny IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Ankeny IA 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 Iowa require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Ankeny IA area.
Pick the Right LPN Course Ankeny 50015
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Ankeny IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Iowa That You Might Be Interested In