How to Find the Right LPN Program in Fincastle Virginia
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Fincastle VA that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Fincastle VA health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the Fincastle VA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Virginia that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Fincastle VA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fincastle VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Virginia 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 may desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fincastle VA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Fincastle VA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component 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 rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Fincastle VA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Fincastle VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Virginia 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Fincastle VA school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check 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. Also, check with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Fincastle VA 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Fincastle VA area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Fincastle VA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Fincastle 24090
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Fincastle VA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in Virginia That You Might Be Interested In