How to Pick an LPN Program in Urbana Iowa
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Urbana IA that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Urbana IA health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the Urbana IA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Iowa that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Urbana IA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Urbana IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 may 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she 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 don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Urbana IA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 minimum period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Urbana IA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Urbana IA as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Urbana IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Urbana IA school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Urbana 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Urbana 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Urbana IA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Urbana 52345
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 Urbana IA.
Why Did You Desire to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have 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 want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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