How to Select an LPN College in Winston Salem North Carolina
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Winston Salem NC that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. 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 first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the Winston Salem NC health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, 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 supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Winston Salem NC medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered in North Carolina that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Winston Salem NC, and that the majority of 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winston Salem NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winston Salem NC area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some Winston Salem NC area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and family responsibilities 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.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Winston Salem NC along with the price 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 final choice, 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 in addition to the Winston Salem NC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive 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 requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Winston Salem NC school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Winston Salem 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Winston Salem NC area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Winston Salem NC area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Winston Salem 27101
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Winston Salem NC.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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