How to Choose an LPN College in Itasca Illinois
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Itasca IL that will provide the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from 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. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection 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 various other 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 look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Itasca IL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. Although they may be responsible for managing 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, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance 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 routine job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Itasca IL healthcare 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 numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available in Illinois that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Itasca IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Itasca IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a two 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.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Itasca IL area. The length of the instruction 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training course 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Itasca IL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Itasca IL as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 choice, 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 Itasca IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Itasca IL school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online 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, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Itasca IL 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Itasca IL area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Itasca IL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Itasca 60143
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Itasca IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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