How to Choose an LPN Program near Elgin Illinois
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Elgin IL that will provide the proper training. If you reside 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will talk about 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 education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Elgin IL?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Elgin IL health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Elgin IL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Illinois
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Elgin IL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Elgin IL as well as within Illinois and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Elgin IL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Elgin IL 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 looking at 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 good reputation within the Elgin IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Elgin IL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Elgin Illinois?
Elgin (/ˈɛldʒɪn/ EL-jin) is a city in Cook and Kane counties in the northern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. Located roughly 35 mi (56 km) northwest of Chicago, it lies along the Fox River. As of 2013, the city had a total population of 110,145, making it the eighth-largest city in Illinois.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Black Hawk Indian War of 1832 led to the expulsion of the Native Americans who had settlements and burial mounds in the area, and set the stage for the founding of Elgin. Thousands of militiamen and soldiers of Gen. Winfield Scott's army marched through the Fox River valley during the war, and accounts of the area's fertile soils and flowing springs soon filtered east.
In New York, James T. Gifford and his brother Hezekiah Gifford heard tales of this area ripe for settlement, and travelled west. Looking for a site on the stagecoach route from Chicago to Galena, Illinois, they eventually settled on a spot where the Fox River could be bridged. In April 1835, they established the city, naming it after the Scottish tune "Elgin".
Early Elgin achieved fame for the butter and dairy goods it sold to the city of Chicago. Gail Borden established a condensed milk factory here in 1866, and the local library was named in his honor. The dairy industry became less important with the arrival of the Elgin Watch Company. The watch factory employed three generations of Elginites from the late 19th to the mid 20th century, when it was the largest producer of fine watches in the United States (the factory ceased production in 1965 and was torn down in the summer of 1966) and the operator of the largest watchmaking complex in the world. Today, the clocks at Chicago's Union Station still bear the Elgin name.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Elgin IL
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential 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 produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Elgin IL.
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