How to Select an LPN Program in Ridgeville South Carolina
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Ridgeville SC that will provide the proper instruction. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s 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 functions that they accomplish in the Ridgeville SC medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Carolina. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Ridgeville SC health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available in South Carolina that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ridgeville SC, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ridgeville SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by South Carolina community colleges. It readies 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 desire 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the South 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 instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ridgeville SC area. The duration of the training 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program 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 South Carolina to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with 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 Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Ridgeville SC area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Ridgeville SC and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Ridgeville SC school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 required 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 Ridgeville SC school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Ridgeville SC 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Ridgeville SC area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in South Carolina require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Ridgeville SC area.
Pick the Right LPN School Ridgeville 29472
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Ridgeville SC.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in South Carolina That You Might Be Interested In