How to Pick an LPN School in Gretna Virginia
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Gretna VA that will furnish the proper instruction. 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 perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Gretna VA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Gretna VA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available in Virginia that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 needs to 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 Gretna VA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Gretna VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gretna VA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Gretna VA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Gretna VA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points 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 evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Gretna VA 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 securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Gretna VA school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Gretna 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 programs you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Gretna VA area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Gretna VA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Gretna 24557
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college 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 develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Gretna VA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Cities in Virginia That You Might Be Interested In