How to Select an LPN Program in Cookeville Tennessee
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Cookeville TN that will provide the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Cookeville TN health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 find patients requiring medical attention 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 can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Cookeville TN health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Tennessee that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cookeville TN, 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cookeville TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Tennessee 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 may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving 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 obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cookeville TN 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Cookeville TN area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Cookeville TN as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 along with the Cookeville TN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Tennessee schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Cookeville TN school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Cookeville TN 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Cookeville TN area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Tennessee require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Cookeville TN area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Cookeville 38501
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Cookeville TN.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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