How to Select an LPN Program in Stewartville Minnesota
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Stewartville MN that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Stewartville MN health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated 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 oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the Stewartville MN healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Minnesota that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Stewartville MN, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two 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 offered in the Stewartville MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Minnesota 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 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stewartville MN area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Stewartville MN area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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 job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous 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 mentioned, the site of the school relative to Stewartville MN along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Stewartville MN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Minnesota schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Stewartville MN school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Stewartville 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Stewartville MN area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Stewartville MN area.
Choose the Right LPN College Stewartville 55976
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Stewartville MN.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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