How to Enroll In an LPN College in Port Costa California
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Port Costa CA that will provide the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. 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 first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Port Costa CA health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. 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
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the Port Costa CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in California that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Port Costa CA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Port Costa CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 may desire 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Port Costa CA area. The length of the instruction 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 receive 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 minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Port Costa CA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program 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, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Port Costa CA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Port Costa CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Port Costa 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. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Port Costa 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Port Costa CA area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in California require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Port Costa CA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Port Costa 94569
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Port Costa CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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