How to Pick an LPN Program in Kalamazoo Michigan
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Kalamazoo MI that will provide the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about 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 Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Kalamazoo MI health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Michigan. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the Kalamazoo MI medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in Michigan that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage 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 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 attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Kalamazoo MI, and that the majority of 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kalamazoo MI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Michigan board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kalamazoo MI area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Kalamazoo MI area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward 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 Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Michigan and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Kalamazoo MI and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Kalamazoo MI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Michigan schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Kalamazoo MI school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Kalamazoo MI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Kalamazoo MI area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Kalamazoo MI area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Kalamazoo 49001
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kalamazoo MI.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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