How to Find the Right LPN Program near Columbus Georgia
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Columbus GA that will furnish the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting 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. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, 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 as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Columbus GA?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Columbus GA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Georgia. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Columbus GA 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 Georgia
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Columbus GA. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. 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 easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Columbus GA as well as within Georgia and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Columbus GA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Columbus GA 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Columbus GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Columbus GA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Columbus Georgia?
Columbus is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia and the county seat of the consolidated Muscogee County. Columbus is the second-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2013 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 202,824 residents, with 316,554 in the greater Columbus-Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has an estimated population of 501,649. Situated at the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus is directly to the east across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, Alabama.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Founded in 1828 by an act of the Georgia Legislature, Columbus was situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River and on the last stretch of the Federal Road before entering Alabama. The city was named for Christopher Columbus, its founders likely influenced by the writings of Washington Irving. The plan for the city was drawn up by Dr. Edwin L. DeGraffenried, who placed the town on a bluff overlooking the river. Across the river to the west, where Phenix City, Alabama is now located, Creek Indians still lived until they were forcibly removed in 1836 by the federal government to make way for European-American settlers.
Pick the Right LPN Program near Columbus GA
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Columbus GA.
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