How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Visalia California
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Visalia CA that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let’s 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 functions that they carry out in the Visalia CA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision 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 find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Visalia CA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations offered in California that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Visalia CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance 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 Visalia CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Visalia CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Visalia CA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Visalia CA as well as the expense 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Visalia CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Visalia CA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Visalia 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Visalia CA area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Visalia CA area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Visalia 93277
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN college 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 produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Visalia CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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