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How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Dover Delaware

Dover Delaware LVN with elderly female patientOnce you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Dover DE that will deliver the proper training. If you live 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important factors, 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.

What does an LPN or LVN Do?

Dover Delaware LPN greeting patient with crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Dover DE medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Delaware. Even though 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 health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:

    • Checking vital signs
    • Giving medicines
    • Initiating IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Taking care of patient records
    • Helping physicians or RNs with procedures

In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Dover DE healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Dover DE. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

LPN and LVN Schools Online

Dover Delaware LVN with senior male assisted living patientAttending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Dover DE. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Dover DE as well as within Delaware and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
 
  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Dover DE.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Delaware school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Dover DE 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dover DE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Dover DE community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Dover LVN or LPN Schools

Pick the Right Dover Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program

Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step 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 depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Dover DE.



 

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