How to Enroll In an LPN College in Richmond Virginia
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Richmond VA that will provide the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Richmond VA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Virginia. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the Richmond VA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Virginia that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Richmond 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 available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Richmond VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Richmond VA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Richmond VA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Richmond VA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Richmond VA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Richmond VA school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Richmond 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Richmond VA area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Richmond VA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Richmond 23218
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Richmond VA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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