How to Enroll In an LPN Training in Dubuque Iowa
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Dubuque IA that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function 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 perform in the Dubuque IA medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the Dubuque IA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available in Iowa that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Dubuque 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 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dubuque IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dubuque IA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many Dubuque IA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Dubuque IA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Dubuque IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing 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, differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Dubuque IA school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Dubuque 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Dubuque IA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Dubuque IA area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Dubuque 52001
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Dubuque IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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