LPN Training Programs in Nebraska

How to Find the Right LPN Program in Nebraska

Nebraska LPN taking patient vital signsOnce you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Nebraska that will provide the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

LPN and LVN Job Functions

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Nebraska medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Nebraska. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every 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 work activities might include:

  • Checking vital signs
  • Providing medications
  • Initiating IV drips
  • Observing patients
  • Collecting blood or urine samples
  • Taking care of patient records
  • Helping doctors or RNs with procedures

In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Nebraska healthcare 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, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in Nebraska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Other Nursing Degrees Available

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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Nebraska.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Nebraska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.

CNA Certificates

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Degrees

LPN working in Nebraska nursing homeEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Nebraska schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Nebraska 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Look at internet 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Nebraska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in Nebraska to help students gain a position.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Nebraska require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Right LPN Program in Nebraska

Picking|Choosing|Selecting|Deciding on|Enrolling in} the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Nebraska.

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