How to Enroll In an LPN Training in Durango Colorado
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 Durango CO that will provide the proper 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example 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 address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role 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 numerous functions that they complete in the Durango CO health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the Durango CO health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Colorado that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Durango CO, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Durango CO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress 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 2 year program after receiving 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Durango CO area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Durango CO area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Durango CO and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, 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 other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Durango CO school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Colorado schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Durango CO school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Durango CO 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Durango CO area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Colorado require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Durango CO area.
Select the Right LPN College Durango 81301
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Durango CO.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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