How to Enroll In an LPN School in Grand Rapids Michigan
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Grand Rapids MI that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a 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 numerous functions that they carry out in the Grand Rapids MI medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Michigan. Although they may be responsible for supervising 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 assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the Grand Rapids MI health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Michigan that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Grand Rapids MI, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Grand Rapids MI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike 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 Grand Rapids MI area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Grand Rapids MI area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 family responsibilities 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Michigan and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Grand Rapids MI and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Grand Rapids MI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Michigan schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Grand Rapids MI school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Grand Rapids MI 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Grand Rapids MI area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Michigan require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Grand Rapids MI area.
Choose the Right LPN College Grand Rapids 49501
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Grand Rapids MI.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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