How to Choose an LPN School in Evangeline Louisiana
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Evangeline LA that will deliver the necessary training. If you live 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 health care facilities under the supervision 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 next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Evangeline LA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Louisiana. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the Evangeline LA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Louisiana that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Evangeline LA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Evangeline LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Evangeline LA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Evangeline LA area schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana 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 mentioned, the site of the school relative to Evangeline LA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the Evangeline LA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Louisiana 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Evangeline LA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Evangeline 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Evangeline LA area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Louisiana require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Evangeline LA area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Evangeline 70537
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Evangeline LA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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