How to Pick an LPN College in Cedar Falls North Carolina
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Cedar Falls NC that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care 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 address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Cedar Falls NC medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including North Carolina. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Cedar Falls NC medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two academic credentials available in North Carolina that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cedar Falls NC, 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 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cedar Falls NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cedar Falls NC area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the education 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Cedar Falls NC area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Cedar Falls NC and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Cedar Falls NC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited North Carolina schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Cedar Falls NC school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Cedar Falls NC 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cedar Falls NC area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in North Carolina require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Cedar Falls NC area.
Select the Right LPN Course Cedar Falls 27230
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Cedar Falls NC.
Why Did You Desire to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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