How to Find the Right LPN Program in Pasadena California
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Pasadena CA that will furnish the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Pasadena CA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Pasadena CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally 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.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available in California that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Pasadena CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pasadena CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 might wish 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 generally a two year program after receiving 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pasadena CA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some Pasadena CA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Pasadena CA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Pasadena CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pasadena CA school you are attending 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 working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pasadena 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 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Pasadena 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. 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 as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Pasadena CA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Pasadena 91050
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Pasadena CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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