How to Select an LPN Program in Kapaa Hawaii
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Kapaa HI that will deliver the appropriate education. 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 healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more 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 to start with, let’s look at the function 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 duties that they carry out in the Kapaa HI health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Hawaii. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical attention 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 routine job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Kapaa HI healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials available in Hawaii that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Kapaa HI, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kapaa HI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Hawaii community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Hawaii colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Hawaii board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kapaa HI area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Hawaii to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Kapaa HI area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments 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 hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Hawaii 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 earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Kapaa HI and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Kapaa HI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Hawaii 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Kapaa HI school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Hawaii or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Hawaii school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Kapaa HI 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Kapaa HI area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Hawaii require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Kapaa HI area.
Select the Right LPN School Kapaa 96746
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Kapaa HI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas 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 preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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