How to Enroll In an LPN School in Columbus Nebraska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Columbus NE that will deliver the right 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care 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 address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 extremely important too. There are additional 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 to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Columbus NE healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Nebraska. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Columbus NE healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in Nebraska that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Columbus NE, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Columbus NE area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a two year program after obtaining 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Columbus NE area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program 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 Nebraska to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Columbus NE area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Columbus NE as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Columbus NE school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Nebraska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Columbus NE school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Columbus NE 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Columbus NE area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Nebraska require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Columbus NE area.
Select the Right LPN Training Columbus 68601
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Columbus NE.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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