How to Choose an LPN School in Keyser West Virginia
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Keyser WV that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, 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 various other 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 to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Keyser WV healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including West Virginia. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the Keyser WV medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in West Virginia that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Keyser WV, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options offered 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 as little as 2 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 Keyser WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by West Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Keyser WV area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make certain that the training 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Keyser WV area schools will require attendance on campus for a component 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 may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Keyser WV and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Keyser WV school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited West Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Keyser WV school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the West Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Keyser WV 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 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 important 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 Keyser WV area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in West Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Keyser WV area.
Choose the Right LPN College Keyser 26726
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Keyser WV.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing 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 as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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