How to Pick an LPN Training in Fredericksburg Virginia
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Fredericksburg VA that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside 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 differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s take 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 many different functions that they accomplish in the Fredericksburg VA medical 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 monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being governed by each state, the Fredericksburg VA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered in Virginia that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 should 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Fredericksburg VA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain 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 short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fredericksburg VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many 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 Fredericksburg VA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Fredericksburg VA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain 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 practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Fredericksburg VA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the Fredericksburg VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Fredericksburg VA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Fredericksburg VA 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 considering 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 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 favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Fredericksburg VA area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Fredericksburg VA area.
Pick the Right LPN School Fredericksburg 22401
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Fredericksburg VA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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