How to Choose an LPN School in Castro Valley California
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Castro Valley CA that will provide 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 difference, other than 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Castro Valley CA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. 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 healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Castro Valley CA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in California that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Castro Valley CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Castro Valley CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher 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 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Castro Valley CA area. The duration of the training program 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Castro Valley CA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Castro Valley CA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Castro Valley CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Castro Valley CA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Castro Valley CA 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Castro Valley CA area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in California require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Castro Valley CA area.
Select the Right LPN Course Castro Valley 94546
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Castro Valley CA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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