How to Pick an LPN Program in Kelso Washington
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Kelso WA that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about 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 Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Kelso WA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Washington. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the Kelso WA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available in Washington that provide education 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 second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Kelso WA, and that most 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kelso WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Washington 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 might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kelso WA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Washington to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some Kelso WA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, 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 options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Kelso WA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 Kelso WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Washington 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kelso WA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Kelso WA 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 programs you are looking at 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 important 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 Kelso WA area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Washington require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Kelso WA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Kelso 98626
Enrolling in the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Kelso WA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents 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 talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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