How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Lafayette Louisiana
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Lafayette LA that will furnish the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 healthcare 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 cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant 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 as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a 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 duties that they perform in the Lafayette LA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Louisiana. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the Lafayette LA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Louisiana that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lafayette LA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lafayette LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lafayette LA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 contact the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Lafayette LA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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 Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Lafayette LA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Lafayette LA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Louisiana schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lafayette LA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Lafayette LA 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Lafayette LA area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Louisiana require a specified 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 local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Lafayette LA area.
Choose the Right LPN College Lafayette 70501
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Lafayette LA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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