How to Select an LPN College in Pickens South Carolina
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Pickens SC that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary 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 begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Pickens SC health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including South Carolina. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the Pickens SC healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available in South Carolina that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn 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 in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Pickens SC, 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pickens SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by South Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at South Carolina 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 may want 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pickens SC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 South 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some Pickens SC area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Pickens SC along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 Pickens SC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited South Carolina schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pickens SC school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Pickens SC 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Pickens SC area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in South Carolina require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Pickens SC area.
Select the Right LPN Course Pickens 29671
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Pickens SC.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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