How to Pick an LPN Training in Merced California
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Merced CA that will deliver the appropriate instruction. 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other 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 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 many different tasks that they accomplish in the Merced CA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance 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. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the Merced CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in California that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Merced CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Merced CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Merced CA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Merced CA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Merced CA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Merced CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Merced CA school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Merced 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 looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Merced CA area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in California require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Merced CA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Merced 95340
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Merced CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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