How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Program near Decorah Iowa
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Decorah IA that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective 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 instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Decorah IA medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Decorah IA healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Decorah IA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Decorah IA. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Decorah IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Decorah IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Decorah IA 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Decorah IA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Decorah IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Decorah Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Decorah IA.