How to Select an LPN College in Maple Valley Washington
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Maple Valley WA that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 to start with, let’s have a look at the job 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 many different functions that they carry out in the Maple Valley WA health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Washington. Even though they may be accountable for managing 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 diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Maple Valley WA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials available in Washington that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Maple Valley WA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Maple Valley WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Washington 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 might desire 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 usually a two 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 obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Maple Valley WA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Washington to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Maple Valley WA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe 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 decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Washington 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Maple Valley WA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Maple Valley WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Washington schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Maple Valley WA school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Maple Valley WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Maple Valley WA area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Maple Valley WA area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Maple Valley 98038
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Maple Valley WA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in Washington That You Might Be Interested In