How to Choose an LPN Training in Great Falls Montana
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Great Falls MT that will provide the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Great Falls MT medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Montana. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the Great Falls MT healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in Montana 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 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Great Falls MT, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Great Falls MT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Montana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Montana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Montana board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Great Falls MT area. The length of the training program 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Montana to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Great Falls MT area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Montana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Great Falls MT and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 Great Falls MT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Montana schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Great Falls MT school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Montana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Montana school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Great Falls MT 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Great Falls MT area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Montana require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Great Falls MT area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Great Falls 59401
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Great Falls MT.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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