How to Select an LPN College in Gaffney South Carolina
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Gaffney SC that will provide the necessary 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 perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Gaffney SC medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including South Carolina. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Gaffney SC healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available in South Carolina that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Gaffney SC, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Gaffney SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by South Carolina community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a two 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.
When 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gaffney SC area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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 instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the training course 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Gaffney SC area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Gaffney SC as well as the expense 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 final decision, 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 Gaffney SC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited South Carolina 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Gaffney SC school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the South Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Gaffney SC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Gaffney SC area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in South Carolina require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Gaffney SC area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Gaffney 29340
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Gaffney SC.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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