How to Pick an LPN Program in Grand Junction Iowa
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Grand Junction IA that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from 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. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function 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 different functions that they accomplish in the Grand Junction IA health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the Grand Junction IA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Iowa that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Grand Junction 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Grand Junction IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Iowa 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 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Grand Junction IA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many Grand Junction IA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited 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 Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Grand Junction IA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the Grand Junction IA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Iowa schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Grand Junction IA school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Grand Junction 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 colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Grand Junction IA area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Iowa require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of 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 assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Grand Junction IA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Grand Junction 50107
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Grand Junction IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating 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 answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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