How to Pick an LPN Training in Pueblo Colorado
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Pueblo CO that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical 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 segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Pueblo CO medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally 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 requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the Pueblo 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 various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in Colorado that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Pueblo CO, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pueblo CO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Colorado 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 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pueblo CO area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the education 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Pueblo CO area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Pueblo CO along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 Pueblo CO school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Colorado schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pueblo CO school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pueblo CO 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 colleges 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Pueblo CO area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Colorado require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Pueblo CO area.
Select the Right LPN School Pueblo 81001
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Pueblo CO.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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