How to Choose an LPN Program in Donna Texas
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Donna TX that will provide the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care 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 address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more 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 look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Donna TX health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Texas. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 requiring medical attention is their dominion. 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 work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Donna TX health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Texas that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Donna TX, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Donna TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many 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 Donna TX area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Donna TX area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Donna TX along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 as well as the Donna TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Donna TX school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Donna 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 looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Donna TX area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Donna TX area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Donna 78537
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Donna TX.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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