How to Select an LPN School in Liberty Lake Washington
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Liberty Lake WA that will furnish the proper instruction. If you live 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 very 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function 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 accomplish in the Liberty Lake WA healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Washington. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates 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:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the Liberty Lake WA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available in Washington that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Liberty Lake WA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Liberty Lake WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Washington 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 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Liberty Lake WA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Liberty Lake WA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward 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 Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Liberty Lake WA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Liberty Lake WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Washington schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Liberty Lake WA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Liberty Lake WA 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Liberty Lake WA area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Washington require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Liberty Lake WA area.
Pick the Right LPN School Liberty Lake 99019
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Liberty Lake WA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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