How to Find the Right LPN Program in San Mateo California
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in San Mateo CA that will provide 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 distinction, 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more 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 first, let’s have a look at the function 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 different functions that they complete in the San Mateo CA health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be accountable for supervising 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. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the San Mateo CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available in California that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in San Mateo 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the San Mateo CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the San Mateo CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain San Mateo CA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to San Mateo CA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things 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 pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the San Mateo CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with 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 San Mateo CA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby San Mateo 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the San Mateo CA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the San Mateo CA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College San Mateo 94401
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in San Mateo CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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