LPN Training Programs near Mercer Island 98040

How to Pick an LPN College in Mercer Island Washington

Mercer Island WA LPN taking patient vital signsOnce you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Mercer Island WA that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 health care 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 cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.

LPN and LVN Job Activities

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Mercer Island WA health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Washington. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:

  • Taking vital signs
  • Administering medications
  • Setting up IV drips
  • Overseeing patients
  • Collecting blood or urine samples
  • Taking care of patient records
  • Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures

In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the Mercer Island WA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LVN and LPN Programs

There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Washington that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Mercer Island WA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Other Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mercer Island WA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.

CNA Courses

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mercer Island WA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each 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 also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Washington to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Training

LPN working in Mercer Island WA nursing homeAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Mercer Island WA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Courses

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Mercer Island WA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the Mercer Island WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Washington schools.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the Mercer Island WA school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Mercer Island 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Mercer Island WA area to assist students gain a position.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Washington require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Mercer Island WA area.

Choose the Right LPN Program Mercer Island 98040

Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Mercer Island WA.

Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?

When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

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