How to Find the Right LPN Program in Muskegon Michigan
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Muskegon MI that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s 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 duties that they carry out in the Muskegon MI healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Michigan. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Muskegon MI health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in Michigan that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Muskegon MI, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Muskegon MI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Muskegon MI area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Muskegon MI area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Michigan and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Muskegon MI as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Muskegon MI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Michigan schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Muskegon MI school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Muskegon MI 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Muskegon MI area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Michigan require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Muskegon MI area.
Select the Right LPN Training Muskegon 49440
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Muskegon MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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