How to Select an LPN School in Wellsburg West Virginia
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Wellsburg WV that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s have a 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 a number of duties that they carry out in the Wellsburg WV health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including West Virginia. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the Wellsburg WV health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in West Virginia that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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. 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Wellsburg WV, 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 in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wellsburg WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by West Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wellsburg WV area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 West Virginia to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Wellsburg WV area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Wellsburg WV and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Wellsburg WV school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited West Virginia schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Wellsburg WV school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia 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, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Wellsburg WV 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 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 unhappy 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Wellsburg WV area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in West Virginia require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Wellsburg WV area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Wellsburg 26070
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wellsburg WV.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Cities in West Virginia That You Might Be Interested In