How to Select an LPN Program in Radium Springs New Mexico
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Radium Springs NM that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other 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 first, let’s have a look at the role 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 numerous duties that they accomplish in the Radium Springs NM health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New Mexico. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the Radium Springs NM medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in New Mexico that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should 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 Radium Springs NM, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Radium Springs NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by New Mexico community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at New Mexico 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 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New Mexico board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Radium Springs NM area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for New Mexico to make certain 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 other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Radium Springs NM area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Mexico and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Radium Springs NM along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Radium Springs NM school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited New Mexico schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Radium Springs NM school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the New Mexico school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Radium Springs NM 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Radium Springs NM area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Radium Springs NM area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Radium Springs 88054
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select 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 shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Radium Springs NM.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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