How to Pick an LPN College in Gallup New Mexico
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Gallup NM that will furnish the proper instruction. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Gallup NM medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including New Mexico. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being mandated by each state, the Gallup NM health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available in New Mexico that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Gallup NM, 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Gallup NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by New Mexico community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at New Mexico 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 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike 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 in the Gallup NM area. 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Mexico to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as 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
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Gallup NM area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Mexico and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Gallup NM along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Gallup NM school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited New Mexico 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Gallup NM school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Gallup NM 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Gallup NM area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in New Mexico require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Gallup NM area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Gallup 87301
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 an LVN in Gallup NM.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude 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 excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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