How to Choose an LPN College in Covington Louisiana
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Covington LA that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant factors, 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 extremely important too. There are various other 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 take a look at the role 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 Covington LA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Louisiana. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the Covington LA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Louisiana that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, 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 alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 Covington LA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Covington LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Louisiana 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 want 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Covington LA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the 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 check with the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make sure that the training course 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Covington LA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Covington LA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Covington LA 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 Louisiana schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Covington LA school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Covington LA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important 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 relationships in the Covington LA area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Louisiana require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Covington LA area.
Select the Right LPN College Covington 70433
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Covington LA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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