How to Choose an LPN School in Stevenson Washington
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Stevenson WA that will furnish the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant points to consider, 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 also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Stevenson WA health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Washington. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the Stevenson WA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered in Washington that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Stevenson WA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Stevenson WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress 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 attaining 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 received 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to 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 Stevenson WA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. 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 certain that the education 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some Stevenson WA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Stevenson WA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 Stevenson WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Washington schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Stevenson WA school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Stevenson 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Stevenson WA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Washington require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Stevenson WA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Stevenson 98648
Enrolling in the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select 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 produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Stevenson WA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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