How to Find the Right LPN College in Washington West Virginia
Once 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 Washington WV that will deliver the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they complete in the Washington WV health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including West Virginia. While 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 healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Washington WV 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 example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in West Virginia that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Washington WV, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Washington WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by West Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving 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 obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Washington WV area. The length of the instruction 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make sure that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Washington WV area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Washington WV as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 as well as the Washington WV school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to 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 West 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Washington WV school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Washington WV healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Washington WV area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in West Virginia require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Washington WV area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Washington 26181
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Washington WV.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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