How to Choose an LPN School in Donalsonville Georgia
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Donalsonville GA that will provide 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 difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 extremely important as well. There are even more 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 to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Donalsonville GA health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Georgia. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Donalsonville GA medical 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, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in Georgia that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Donalsonville GA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Donalsonville GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Georgia 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Donalsonville GA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 Georgia to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Donalsonville GA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Donalsonville GA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Donalsonville GA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Donalsonville GA school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Donalsonville GA 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Donalsonville GA area to assist students attain a position.
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 Georgia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Donalsonville GA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Donalsonville 31745
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Donalsonville GA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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