How to Find the Right LPN Program in Cascade Iowa
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Cascade IA that will furnish the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from 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 vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional 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 to start with, let’s take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Cascade IA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment 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 can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the Cascade IA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Iowa that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cascade IA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cascade IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 make sure to contact 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 instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cascade IA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program 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 check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the training course 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 can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Cascade IA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Cascade IA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. 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 compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Cascade IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Cascade IA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Cascade IA 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 programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cascade IA area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Cascade IA area.
Select the Right LPN Course Cascade 52033
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Cascade IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Some Cities in Iowa That You Might Be Interested In