How to Find the Right LPN School in Ithaca New York
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Ithaca NY that will provide the right 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, 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 extremely important as well. 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Ithaca NY medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New York. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the Ithaca NY healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available in New York that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ithaca NY, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ithaca NY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by New York community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at New York colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the New York board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ithaca NY area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New York to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Ithaca NY area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New York and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Ithaca NY and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Ithaca NY school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited New York schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Ithaca NY school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New York or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the New York school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Ithaca NY 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Ithaca NY area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in New York require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Ithaca NY area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Ithaca 14850
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Ithaca NY.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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