LPN Training Programs in Oklahoma

How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Oklahoma

Oklahoma LPN taking patient vital signsOnce you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Oklahoma that will provide the appropriate instruction. 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 health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 too. 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 first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

LPN and LVN Job Activities

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Oklahoma healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Oklahoma. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention 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 daily work functions can include:

  • Measuring vital signs
  • Administering medications
  • Starting IV drips
  • Overseeing patients
  • Taking blood or urine samples
  • Managing patient records
  • Helping physicians or RNs with procedures

In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the Oklahoma health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN Programs

There are generally two academic credentials offered in Oklahoma that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Oklahoma.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Oklahoma community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Oklahoma to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

LPN working in Oklahoma nursing homeAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Oklahoma schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Programs

Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Oklahoma schools.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 colleges 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in Oklahoma to help students obtain a position.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Oklahoma require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right LPN Program in Oklahoma

Picking|Choosing|Selecting|Deciding on|Enrolling in} the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Oklahoma.

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