How to Pick an LPN School in Norwalk California
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Norwalk CA that will deliver the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential 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 look at the role 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 a number of duties that they perform in the Norwalk CA healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Norwalk CA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in California that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Norwalk CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Norwalk CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving 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 acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Norwalk CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the 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 check with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Norwalk CA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Norwalk CA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Norwalk CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together 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 important that the Norwalk CA school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 nearby Norwalk CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 displeased 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Norwalk CA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Norwalk CA area.
Pick the Right LPN Course Norwalk 90650
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Norwalk CA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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