How to Select an LPN Program in Palm Bay Florida
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Palm Bay FL that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. 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 first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Palm Bay FL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Florida. Although they may be accountable for supervising 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 varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the Palm Bay FL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered in Florida that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Palm Bay FL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Palm Bay FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Palm Bay FL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure that the training course 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many Palm Bay FL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Palm Bay FL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the Palm Bay FL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Palm Bay FL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Palm Bay FL 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 displeased 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 Palm Bay FL area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Florida require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Palm Bay FL area.
Choose the Right LPN School Palm Bay 32905
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Palm Bay FL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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