How to Find the Right LPN Program in Shinnston West Virginia
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Shinnston WV that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. 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 to start with, let’s look at the role 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 a number of functions that they accomplish in the Shinnston WV healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including West Virginia. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. 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 job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Shinnston WV healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in West Virginia that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Shinnston WV, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Shinnston WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by West Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining 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 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Shinnston WV area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for West 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Shinnston WV area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount 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 answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Shinnston WV and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Shinnston WV school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Shinnston WV school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the West Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Shinnston 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 colleges 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Shinnston WV area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in West Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Shinnston WV area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Shinnston 26431
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Shinnston WV.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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