How to Select an LPN Program in Ridgecrest California
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Ridgecrest CA that will deliver the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important points to consider, 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 additional 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 have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Ridgecrest CA healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the Ridgecrest CA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered in California that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly 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 usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ridgecrest CA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ridgecrest CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ridgecrest CA area. The duration of the training 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Ridgecrest CA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt 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 choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Ridgecrest CA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Ridgecrest CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Ridgecrest CA school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Ridgecrest 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Ridgecrest CA area to help students attain a position.
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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Ridgecrest CA area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Ridgecrest 93555
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Ridgecrest CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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