How to Pick the Best LPN College near Watsonville California
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Watsonville CA that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address 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 expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address 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 training and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Watsonville CA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Watsonville CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Watsonville CA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Watsonville CA. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out 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 college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Watsonville CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Watsonville CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Watsonville CA 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Watsonville CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Watsonville CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
How To Choose A Licensed Practical Nurse School Watsonville California
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in How To Choose A Licensed Practical Nurse School and wanting to get more information on the topic LPN Certificate. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Watsonville CA.
More Nursing Locations in California
Watsonville is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 51,199 according to the 2010 census. Located on the central coast of California, the economy centers predominantly around the farming industry. It is known for growing strawberries, apples, lettuce and a host of other vegetables. Watsonville is home to people of varied ethnic backgrounds. There is a large Hispanic population, as well as groups of Croatians, Filipinos, Portuguese, Sikhs, and Japanese that live and work in the city.
The Pajaro Valley, where Watsonville is located, has a climate that is around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout much of the year. This climate makes Watsonville an attractive coastal environment for the neighboring inland communities with very hot summers. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has an attendance of about 18,000 students kindergarten through 12th grades. There are several private religious-based schools in Watsonville such as Notre Dame School, Monte Vista Christian, Salesian Sisters, and St. Francis. There are also several charter schools and the non-religious independent Pre-K through 12th grade Mount Madonna School. These schools provide a wide range of educational options for local families. Watsonville is generally conservative on the political spectrum, and average relative to the neighboring communities of Salinas, Castroville, and Prunedale. It is, however, a self-designated sanctuary city.
The larger coastal town directly north of Watsonville is the city of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a draw for many young college students who attend Cabrillo College or University of California, Santa Cruz. Because Watsonville and Santa Cruz are beach towns, they draw many visitors from San Jose and from the Central Valley areas. Like neighboring Salinas in Monterey County, Watsonville produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, primarily apples, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and table mushrooms.
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