How to Enroll In an LPN Training in Kentucky
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Kentucky that will provide the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But 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 begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Kentucky health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Kentucky. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Kentucky 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 numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Kentucky that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Kentucky.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Kentucky colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Kentucky to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Kentucky schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific 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 accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Kentucky 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) in addition to 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 school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in Kentucky to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Kentucky require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right LPN Program in Kentucky
Picking|Choosing|Selecting|Deciding on|Enrolling in} the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Kentucky.