How to Choose an LPN School in Star Mississippi
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Star MS that will provide the proper 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Star MS healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Mississippi. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the Star MS health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered in Mississippi that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Star MS, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option offered 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Star MS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Mississippi community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to 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 Star MS area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make sure that the training course 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many Star MS area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Mississippi and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Star MS as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Star MS school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Mississippi schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Star MS school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Mississippi school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Star MS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Star MS area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Mississippi require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Star MS area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Star 39167
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Star MS.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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