How to Select an LPN School in Amarillo Texas
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Amarillo TX 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address 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 education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Amarillo TX health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Texas. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the Amarillo TX healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Texas that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Amarillo TX, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Amarillo TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Amarillo TX area. The duration of the training 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 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 training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Amarillo TX area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Amarillo TX along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Amarillo TX 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 assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Amarillo TX school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Amarillo TX 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 schools you are looking at 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Amarillo TX area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Amarillo TX area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Amarillo 79101
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Amarillo TX.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in Texas That You Might Be Interested In