How to Enroll In an LPN School in Cowan Tennessee
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Cowan TN that will furnish the appropriate 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the role 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 functions that they perform in the Cowan TN healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the Cowan TN healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Tennessee that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cowan TN, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cowan TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Tennessee 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 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Tennessee 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 instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cowan TN area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many Cowan TN area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and household commitments have left you with limited 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 active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Cowan TN along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Cowan TN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Tennessee schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cowan TN school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Cowan TN 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 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 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 contacts in the Cowan TN area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Cowan TN area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Cowan 37318
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 an LVN in Cowan TN.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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