How to Enroll In an LPN School in Lafayette California
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Lafayette CA that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out 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 cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, 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 very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role 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 a number of functions that they carry out in the Lafayette CA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Lafayette CA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered in California that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lafayette CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lafayette CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 normally a two year program after achieving 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lafayette CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Lafayette CA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Lafayette CA and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Lafayette CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lafayette CA school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Lafayette CA 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Lafayette CA area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in California 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 local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Lafayette CA area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Lafayette 94549
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose 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 produce 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Lafayette CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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