How to Enroll In an LPN College in Soledad California
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Soledad CA that will deliver the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential 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 duties that they perform in the Soledad CA medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being regulated by each state, the Soledad CA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in California that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Soledad CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Soledad CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many 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 Soledad 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 mandated to obtain 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 period of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Soledad CA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Soledad CA along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Soledad CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited California schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 important that the Soledad CA school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Soledad CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Soledad CA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in California require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Soledad CA area.
Choose the Right LPN School Soledad 93960
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Soledad CA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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