How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Dover Delaware
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Dover DE that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out 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 look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example 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 LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Dover DE health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Delaware. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care 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 everyday job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Dover DE healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Dover DE. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Dover DE. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Dover DE as well as within Delaware and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Dover DE.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Delaware or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Delaware school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Dover DE 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 programs 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 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 Dover DE medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Dover DE community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Dover Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Dover DE.