How to Enroll In an LPN College in Rapid City South Dakota
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Rapid City SD that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as 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 talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function 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 numerous tasks that they perform in the Rapid City SD medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including South Dakota. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the Rapid City SD medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in South Dakota that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Rapid City SD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Rapid City SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by South Dakota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at South Dakota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rapid City SD area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for South Dakota to make certain that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Rapid City SD area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Rapid City SD as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Rapid City SD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited South Dakota schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Rapid City SD school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Rapid City SD 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 looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Rapid City SD area to assist students obtain employment.
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 Dakota require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Rapid City SD area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Rapid City 57701
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Rapid City SD.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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