How to Find the Right LPN Program in Afton Virginia
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Afton VA that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties 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 begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example 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 potential 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 training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they carry out in the Afton VA health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. 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 everyday work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the Afton VA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Virginia that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, 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 option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Afton VA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Afton VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Virginia 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 want 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 don’t forget to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Afton VA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Virginia 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Afton VA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Afton VA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Afton VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Afton VA school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Afton VA 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Afton VA area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Afton VA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Afton 22920
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Afton VA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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