How to Choose an LPN School near Fairfield California
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Fairfield CA that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Fairfield CA?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Fairfield CA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Fairfield CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in California
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Fairfield CA. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some 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 lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Fairfield CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Fairfield CA.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Fairfield CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fairfield 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Fairfield CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Fairfield California?
Fairfield is a city in, and the county seat of, Solano County, California, in the North Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is generally considered the midpoint between the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento, approximately 40 miles (64 km) from the city center of both cities, approximately 40 miles (64 km) from the city center of Oakland, less than 19 miles (31 km) from Napa Valley, 16 miles (26 km) from the Carquinez Bridge, and 14 miles (23 km) from the Benicia Bridge. Fairfield was founded in 1856 by clippership captain Robert H. Waterman, and named after his former hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.
It is the home of Travis Air Force Base and the headquarters of Jelly Belly. With a population of 108,321 at the 2010 census, it is slightly smaller in population than Vallejo. Other nearby cities include Suisun City, Vacaville, Rio Vista, Benicia, and Napa.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.6 square miles (97 km2), of which, 34.4 square miles (89 km2) of it is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it is water. The total area is 5.65% water.
The city is located within the California Coastal Ranges. The city is centered directly north of the Suisun Bay and northeast of the San Pablo Bay. Much of the Suisun Bay contains the Suisun Marsh, the largest saltwater marsh on the west coast of the United States.
Choose the Right LPN School near Fairfield CA
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Fairfield CA.
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