How to Pick an LPN Program in Oak Ridge Tennessee
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Oak Ridge TN that will furnish the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other 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 have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Oak Ridge TN medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care 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 day-to-day job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the Oak Ridge TN healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in Tennessee that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Oak Ridge TN, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Oak Ridge TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Oak Ridge TN area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Oak Ridge TN area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. So if your work and household obligations 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Oak Ridge TN as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Oak Ridge TN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Tennessee schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Oak Ridge 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. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Oak Ridge TN 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Oak Ridge TN area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Tennessee require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Oak Ridge TN area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Oak Ridge 37830
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 LPN in Oak Ridge TN.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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