How to Select an LPN School in Kingsley Iowa
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Kingsley IA that will deliver 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical 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 cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 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 Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Kingsley IA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the Kingsley IA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic 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, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Kingsley IA, 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kingsley IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many 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 Kingsley IA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 Iowa 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Kingsley IA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Kingsley IA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Kingsley IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Kingsley IA school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Kingsley IA 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Kingsley IA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Kingsley IA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Kingsley 51028
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kingsley IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in Iowa That You Might Be Interested In