How to Enroll In an LPN College in Hitchcock Texas
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Hitchcock TX that will furnish the right education. If you live 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 healthcare 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 look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Hitchcock TX medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including 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 controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the Hitchcock TX health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available in Texas that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hitchcock TX, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hitchcock TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hitchcock TX area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential 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 Texas 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.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Hitchcock TX area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
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 checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Hitchcock TX and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 along with the Hitchcock TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Hitchcock TX school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Hitchcock TX 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Hitchcock TX area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Hitchcock TX area.
Select the Right LPN Course Hitchcock 77563
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Hitchcock TX.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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