How to Pick an LPN Program in Cotulla Texas
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Cotulla TX that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they complete in the Cotulla TX health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the Cotulla TX health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Texas that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cotulla TX, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cotulla TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cotulla TX area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Cotulla TX area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Cotulla TX and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 Cotulla TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cotulla TX school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Cotulla TX 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 schools 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 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Cotulla TX 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Cotulla TX area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Cotulla 78014
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Cotulla TX.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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