How to Choose an LPN College in San Angelo Texas
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in San Angelo TX that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions 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 start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance 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 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the San Angelo TX health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Texas. While they may be responsible for overseeing 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 diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the San Angelo TX 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 example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in Texas that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in San Angelo 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the San Angelo TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Texas 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the San Angelo TX area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Texas to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain San Angelo TX area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to San Angelo TX along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the San Angelo TX school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Texas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the San Angelo TX school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Texas 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 too. Also, contact the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby San Angelo 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 unhappy 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 contacts in the San Angelo TX area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Texas require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the San Angelo TX area.
Choose the Right LPN Training San Angelo 76901
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in San Angelo TX.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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