How to Select an LPN School in Dunkirk New York
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Dunkirk NY that will deliver the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they perform in the Dunkirk NY healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New York. Although they may be responsible for managing 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 diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Dunkirk NY 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, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered in New York that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Dunkirk NY, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dunkirk NY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by New York community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at New York 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New York board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dunkirk NY area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for New York to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Dunkirk NY area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New York and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Dunkirk NY as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Dunkirk NY school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited New York schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Dunkirk NY school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New York or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the New York school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Dunkirk NY 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 looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Dunkirk NY area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in New York require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Dunkirk NY area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Dunkirk 14048
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Dunkirk NY.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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