How to Choose an LPN School in Katy Texas
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Katy TX that will deliver the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from 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. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Katy TX health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision 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 find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Katy TX health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available in Texas that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Katy TX, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Katy TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two 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.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Katy TX area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Katy TX area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Katy TX and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Katy TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Katy TX school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Katy 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 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Katy TX area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Katy TX area.
Pick the Right LPN School Katy 77449
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Katy TX.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal 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 undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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