How to Pick an LPN Program in Zumbrota Minnesota
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Zumbrota MN that will deliver the necessary training. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 too. 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 training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Zumbrota MN health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Minnesota. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the Zumbrota MN health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Minnesota that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Zumbrota MN, 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Zumbrota MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Zumbrota MN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course 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 training course 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some Zumbrota MN area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Zumbrota MN as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Zumbrota MN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Zumbrota MN school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Zumbrota 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 programs you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Zumbrota MN area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Minnesota require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Zumbrota MN area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Zumbrota 55992
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important 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 shortlist 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Zumbrota MN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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