How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Le Mars Iowa
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Le Mars IA that will provide the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. 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 look at the function 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 functions that they carry out in the Le Mars IA health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Le Mars IA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Iowa that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Le Mars IA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Le Mars IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may desire 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Le Mars IA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Le Mars IA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Le Mars IA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things 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 see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Le Mars IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 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 essential that the Le Mars IA school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Le Mars 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Le Mars IA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Le Mars IA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Le Mars 51031
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Le Mars IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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