How to Select an LPN School in Decatur Indiana
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Decatur IN that will deliver the proper 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care 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 initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance 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 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 have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Decatur IN health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Indiana. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every 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 work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the Decatur IN health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available in Indiana that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Decatur IN, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Decatur IN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Indiana community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Indiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring 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 received 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Indiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Decatur IN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the education is state approved. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Decatur IN area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Decatur IN as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Decatur IN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Indiana schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Decatur IN school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Indiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Decatur IN 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential 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 IN area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Indiana require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Decatur IN area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Decatur 46733
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Decatur IN.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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