How to Choose an LPN College in West Point Nebraska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in West Point NE that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than 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. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they complete in the West Point NE health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Nebraska. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the West Point NE medical 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.
There are principally two academic credentials available in Nebraska that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Point NE, 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 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Point NE area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher 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 Nebraska 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the West Point NE area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some West Point NE area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Nebraska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to West Point NE along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the West Point NE school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important that the West Point NE school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online 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. Also, contact the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby West Point 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative 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 West Point NE area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Nebraska require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the West Point NE area.
Choose the Right LPN School West Point 68788
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in West Point NE.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Nebraska That You Might Be Interested In