How to Select an LPN School in Letcher South Dakota
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Letcher SD that will deliver the necessary education. 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. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 to start with, let’s 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 complete in the Letcher SD health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Dakota. While they may be responsible for managing 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, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the Letcher SD health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered in South Dakota that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative 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, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Letcher SD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Letcher SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by South Dakota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at South Dakota 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Letcher SD area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for South Dakota to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Letcher SD area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Letcher SD as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Letcher SD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited South Dakota schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Letcher SD school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Letcher SD 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 colleges you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Letcher SD area to help 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 Dakota require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Letcher SD area.
Pick the Right LPN School Letcher 57359
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Letcher SD.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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