How to Pick an LPN Training in West Salem Illinois
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in West Salem IL 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection 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 address 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 training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they complete in the West Salem IL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the West Salem IL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Illinois that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Salem IL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Salem IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the West Salem IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some West Salem IL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper 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 numerous 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of 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 already discussed, the site of the school relative to West Salem IL as well as the cost of tuition are probably 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 final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the West Salem IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Illinois schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the West Salem IL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional West Salem 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 programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the West Salem IL area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Illinois require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the West Salem IL area.
Pick the Right LPN Program West Salem 62476
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in West Salem IL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Illinois That You Might Be Interested In