How to Select an LPN School in Forest Park Illinois
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Forest Park IL that will provide the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example 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 potential 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Forest Park IL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. Even though 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, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the Forest Park IL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Illinois that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Forest Park IL, and that the majority of 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 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Forest Park IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Forest Park IL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many Forest Park IL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Forest Park IL as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Forest Park IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Forest Park IL school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Forest Park IL 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Forest Park IL area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Forest Park IL area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Forest Park 60130
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Forest Park IL.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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