How to Select an LPN Program in Bridgeton Missouri
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Bridgeton MO that will deliver the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Bridgeton MO health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Missouri. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the Bridgeton MO health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic credentials offered in Missouri that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bridgeton MO, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bridgeton MO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Missouri community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Missouri 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 might want 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bridgeton MO area. The duration of the training program 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Missouri to make certain 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Bridgeton MO area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Missouri and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bridgeton MO along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Bridgeton MO school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Missouri schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bridgeton MO school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Missouri school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Bridgeton MO 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Bridgeton MO area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Missouri require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Bridgeton MO area.
Choose the Right LPN College Bridgeton 63044
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Bridgeton MO.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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