How to Select an LPN Program in Cedar Crest New Mexico
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Cedar Crest NM that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection 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 to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Cedar Crest NM medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New Mexico. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the Cedar Crest NM healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in New Mexico that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cedar Crest NM, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cedar Crest NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by New Mexico community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at New Mexico colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cedar Crest NM area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Mexico to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Cedar Crest NM area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited 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 Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if 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 numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Mexico 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 discussed, the location of the school relative to Cedar Crest NM and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Cedar Crest NM school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited New Mexico schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cedar Crest NM school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Mexico or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Cedar Crest NM 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cedar Crest NM area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in New Mexico require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Cedar Crest NM area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Cedar Crest 87008
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Cedar Crest NM.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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