How to Enroll In an LPN Program in New Orleans Louisiana
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in New Orleans LA that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance 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 next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the New Orleans LA medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Louisiana. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health 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 find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the New Orleans LA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Louisiana that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly 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 alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in New Orleans LA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the New Orleans LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Louisiana 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 advance 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New Orleans LA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many New Orleans LA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little 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 Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to New Orleans LA and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the New Orleans LA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Louisiana 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the New Orleans LA school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby New Orleans LA 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the New Orleans LA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Louisiana 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 help with the placing of students in internships in the New Orleans LA area.
Choose the Right LPN Program New Orleans 70112
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic 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 excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in New Orleans LA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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