How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Waverly Iowa
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Waverly IA that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important considerations, 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 too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover 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 is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Waverly IA health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Iowa. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Waverly IA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Waverly IA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative 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 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. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Waverly IA. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Waverly IA as well as within Iowa 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 mentioned, the location of the school along with 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Waverly IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Waverly 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 programs you are considering 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 good reputation within the Waverly IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Waverly IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Waverly Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Waverly IA.