How to Pick an LPN School in Cocoa Beach Florida
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Cocoa Beach FL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for 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 duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Cocoa Beach FL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Florida. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Cocoa Beach FL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available in Florida that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cocoa Beach FL, 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cocoa Beach FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Florida community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve 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 Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cocoa Beach FL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some Cocoa Beach FL area schools will require attending 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 center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Cocoa Beach FL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the Cocoa Beach FL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Florida schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Cocoa Beach FL school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Cocoa Beach FL 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cocoa Beach FL area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Florida require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Cocoa Beach FL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Cocoa Beach 32931
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Cocoa Beach FL.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to 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 exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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