How to Choose an LPN Program in San Saba Texas
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in San Saba 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 distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost 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 as well. There are even more 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 to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the San Saba TX medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction 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. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the San Saba TX healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in Texas that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in San Saba TX, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the San Saba TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the San Saba TX area. The length of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many San Saba TX area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to San Saba TX along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the San Saba TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the San Saba TX school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local San Saba 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the San Saba TX area to help students obtain a position.
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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the San Saba TX area.
Select the Right LPN College San Saba 76877
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in San Saba TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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