How to Choose an LPN Program in Helenwood Tennessee
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Helenwood TN that will provide the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other 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 function 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 numerous tasks that they perform in the Helenwood TN health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the Helenwood TN health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available in Tennessee that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Helenwood TN, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Helenwood TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Tennessee 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 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Helenwood TN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Tennessee to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Helenwood TN area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount 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 solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Helenwood TN as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Helenwood TN school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Tennessee 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Helenwood TN school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Helenwood TN 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Helenwood TN area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Tennessee require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Helenwood TN area.
Choose the Right LPN College Helenwood 37755
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Helenwood TN.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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