How to Pick an LPN Program in Harrisonburg Virginia
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Harrisonburg VA that will furnish the necessary education. 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they complete in the Harrisonburg VA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Harrisonburg VA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available in Virginia that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 needs to 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Harrisonburg VA, 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 available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Harrisonburg VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Harrisonburg VA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Harrisonburg VA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number 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 practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Harrisonburg VA along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Harrisonburg VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Harrisonburg VA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Harrisonburg VA 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Harrisonburg VA area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Harrisonburg VA area.
Choose the Right LPN Training Harrisonburg 22801
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Harrisonburg VA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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