How to Choose an LPN College in Hilton Head Island South Carolina
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Hilton Head Island SC that will furnish the appropriate 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, apart 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are significant factors, 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 extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function 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 tasks that they carry out in the Hilton Head Island SC health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Carolina. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the Hilton Head Island SC healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in South Carolina that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hilton Head Island SC, and that most 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 in order 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hilton Head Island SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at South Carolina 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 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hilton Head Island SC area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Hilton Head Island SC area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Hilton Head Island SC as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Hilton Head Island SC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited South Carolina schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hilton Head Island SC school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the South Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hilton Head Island SC 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Hilton Head Island SC area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in South Carolina require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Hilton Head Island SC area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Hilton Head Island 29925
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Hilton Head Island SC.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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