How to Pick an LPN School in North Wilkesboro North Carolina
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in North Wilkesboro NC that will furnish the necessary training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 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 to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the North Wilkesboro NC health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including North Carolina. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the North Wilkesboro NC 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 numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in North Carolina that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 pursue, it should 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in North Wilkesboro NC, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the North Wilkesboro NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at North Carolina 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the North Wilkesboro NC area. The duration of the training 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 mandated to have 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 every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many North Wilkesboro NC area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to North Wilkesboro NC as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the North Wilkesboro NC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited North Carolina schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the North Wilkesboro NC school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional North Wilkesboro NC 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 schools you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the North Wilkesboro NC area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in North Carolina require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the North Wilkesboro NC area.
Pick the Right LPN Training North Wilkesboro 28656
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college 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 produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in North Wilkesboro NC.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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