How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Program near Centerville Iowa
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Centerville IA that will furnish the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they complete in the Centerville IA medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Centerville IA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Centerville IA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Centerville IA. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Centerville IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost 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 final choice, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Centerville IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Centerville IA 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 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 good reputation within the Centerville IA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Centerville IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Centerville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN school 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Centerville IA.