How to Find the Right LPN or LVN College near Smyrna Delaware
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Smyrna DE that will deliver the appropriate education. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Smyrna DE healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Delaware. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Smyrna DE healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Smyrna DE. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study effectively 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
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Smyrna DE. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Smyrna DE as well as within Delaware and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Smyrna DE.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Delaware or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Delaware school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Smyrna DE healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Smyrna DE healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Smyrna DE community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Smyrna Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Smyrna DE.