How to Find the Right LPN College in Heathsville Virginia
Now that 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 Heathsville VA that will deliver the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than 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 functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the function 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 functions that they accomplish in the Heathsville VA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Heathsville VA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in Virginia that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Heathsville VA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Heathsville VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Heathsville VA area. The length 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Heathsville VA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Heathsville VA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Heathsville VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Heathsville VA school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Heathsville 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Heathsville VA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Heathsville VA area.
Pick the Right LPN School Heathsville 22473
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Heathsville VA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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