How to Pick an LPN Program near Fresno California
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Fresno CA 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, 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. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Fresno CA?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Fresno CA health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction 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 requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Fresno CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in California
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Fresno CA. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Fresno CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Fresno CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 local Fresno 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Fresno CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Fresno CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Fresno California?
Fresno (/ˈfrɛznoʊ/ FREZ-no (Spanish for "ash tree") is a city in California, United States, and the county seat of Fresno County. It covers about 112 square miles (290 km2) in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, the southern portion of the California's Central Valley.
Named for the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River, Fresno was founded in 1872 as a railway station of the Central Pacific Railroad before it was incorporated in 1885. The city has since become an economic hub of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, with much of the surrounding areas in the Metropolitan Fresno region predominantly tied to large-scale agricultural production.
The population of Fresno grew from a 1960 census population of 134,000 to a 2000 census population of 428,000. With a census-estimated 2016 population of 520,159, Fresno is the fifth-most populous city in California, the most populous city in the Central Valley, the most populous inland city in California, and the 34th-most populous city in the nation.
Fresno is near the geographical center of California. It lies approximately 220 miles (350 km) north of Los Angeles, 170 miles (270 km) south of the state capital, Sacramento, and 185 miles (300 km) southeast of San Francisco. Yosemite National Park is about 60 miles (100 km) to the north, Kings Canyon National Park is 60 miles (100 km) to the east, and Sequoia National Park is 75 miles (120 km) to the southeast.
Select the Right LPN School near Fresno CA
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Fresno CA.
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