How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Hiawatha Iowa
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Hiawatha IA that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Hiawatha IA health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Hiawatha IA healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Hiawatha IA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hiawatha 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 performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hiawatha IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Hiawatha IA.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hiawatha 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 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 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 Hiawatha IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Hiawatha IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Hiawatha Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hiawatha IA.