How to Find the Right LPN Program in South Elgin Illinois
Now that 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 South Elgin IL that will furnish the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the South Elgin IL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care 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 day-to-day job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the South Elgin IL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available in Illinois that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in South Elgin IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the South Elgin IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It readies 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 ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the South Elgin IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some South Elgin IL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution 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 other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to South Elgin IL along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 in addition to the South Elgin IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the South Elgin IL school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional South Elgin IL 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the South Elgin IL area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the South Elgin IL area.
Choose the Right LPN School South Elgin 60177
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important 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 create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in South Elgin IL.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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