How to Choose an LPN College in Northfield Minnesota
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Northfield MN 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 difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other 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 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 tasks that they accomplish in the Northfield MN healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Minnesota. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Northfield MN health care 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, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Minnesota that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Northfield MN, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Northfield MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Northfield MN area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 Minnesota to make sure that the training is state approved. 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Northfield MN area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Northfield MN as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Northfield MN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Minnesota 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Northfield MN school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Northfield MN 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Northfield MN area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Minnesota require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Northfield MN area.
Select the Right LPN School Northfield 55057
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college 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 produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Northfield MN.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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