How to Choose an LPN College in Sonora Texas
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Sonora TX that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Sonora TX healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the Sonora TX health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Texas that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 pursue, 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 attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Sonora 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sonora TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Texas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Texas 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sonora TX area. The length of the training 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Sonora TX area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Sonora TX as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Sonora TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Sonora TX school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Sonora 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 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 favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Sonora TX area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Sonora TX area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Sonora 76950
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Sonora TX.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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