How to Choose an LPN School in Littleton North Carolina
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Littleton NC that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they perform in the Littleton NC health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including North Carolina. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the Littleton NC health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in North Carolina that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Littleton NC, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Littleton NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at North Carolina 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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 attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Littleton NC area. The length 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Littleton NC 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 carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Littleton NC and the price 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Littleton NC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited North Carolina schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Littleton NC school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Littleton NC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important 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 Littleton NC area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in North Carolina require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Littleton NC area.
Select the Right LPN Training Littleton 27850
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Littleton NC.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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