LPN Training Programs near Big Spring 79720

How to Pick an LPN School in Big Spring Texas

Big Spring TX LPN taking patient vital signsOnce you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Big Spring TX that will furnish the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.

LPN and LVN Job Functions

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Big Spring TX health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions may include:

  • Checking vital signs
  • Providing medicines
  • Setting up IV drips
  • Overseeing patients
  • Getting blood or urine samples
  • Taking care of patient records
  • Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures

Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the Big Spring TX health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Texas that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Big Spring TX, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Other Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Big Spring TX area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Texas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Big Spring TX area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the education 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 might be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

LPN working in Big Spring TX nursing homeEnrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Big Spring TX area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Big Spring TX along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Big Spring TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Texas schools.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Big Spring TX school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Big Spring 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Big Spring TX area to help students obtain 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 Texas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Big Spring TX area.

Choose the Right LPN Degree Big Spring 79720

Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors 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 choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Big Spring TX.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?

When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.

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