How to Select an LPN School in Davenport Iowa
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Davenport IA that will provide the appropriate training. 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more 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 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 Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Davenport IA healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the Davenport IA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Iowa that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Davenport IA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Davenport IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Davenport IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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 Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Davenport IA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Davenport IA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Davenport IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 essential that the Davenport IA school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Davenport IA 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Davenport IA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Davenport IA area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Davenport 52801
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Davenport IA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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