How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near De Witt Iowa
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near De Witt IA that will furnish the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the De Witt IA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other De Witt IA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near De Witt IA. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in De Witt IA. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic 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 online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near De Witt IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select 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 initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near De Witt IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby De Witt 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the De Witt IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby De Witt IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best De Witt Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in De Witt IA.