How to Pick an LPN Training in Decatur Iowa
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Decatur IA that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Decatur IA health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Decatur IA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Iowa that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option 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 supplying 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 pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Decatur IA, 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Decatur IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Iowa 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 might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Decatur IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 Iowa to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Decatur IA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Decatur IA and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the Decatur IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Decatur IA school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Decatur IA 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Decatur IA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Decatur IA area.
Select the Right LPN Degree Decatur 50067
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Decatur IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Cities in Iowa That You Might Be Interested In