How to Choose an LPN School in Lakefield Minnesota
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Lakefield MN that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 first, let’s have a 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 different duties that they accomplish in the Lakefield MN healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Minnesota. While they may be accountable for monitoring 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 diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Lakefield MN healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic credentials available in Minnesota that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lakefield MN, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lakefield MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Minnesota 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 wish 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lakefield MN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Lakefield MN area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Lakefield MN along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Lakefield MN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Minnesota schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lakefield MN school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Lakefield MN 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 programs 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 relationships in the Lakefield MN area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Minnesota require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Lakefield MN area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Lakefield 56150
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 an LVN in Lakefield MN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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