How to Choose an LPN School near Los Alamos New Mexico
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Los Alamos NM that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 section. When starting their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Los Alamos NM?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Los Alamos NM health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including New Mexico. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing 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 diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Los Alamos NM healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in New Mexico
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Los Alamos NM. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Los Alamos NM as well as within New Mexico and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Los Alamos NM.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the New Mexico school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Los Alamos NM 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Los Alamos NM healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Los Alamos NM community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Los Alamos New Mexico?
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Los Alamos (Spanish: Los Álamos, meaning "The Cottonwoods" or "The Poplars") is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the birthplace of the atomic bomb––the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. The town is located on four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau, and has a population of 12,019. It is the county seat and one of two population centers in the county known as census-designated places (CDPs); the other is White Rock.
Los Alamos is built on the Pajarito Plateau between White Rock Canyon and the Valles Caldera. The first settlers on the plateau are thought to be Keres speaking Native Americans around the 10th century. Around 1300, Tewa settlers immigrated from the Four Corners Region and built large cities but were driven out within 50 years by Navajo and Apache raids and by drought. Both the Keres and Tewa towns can be seen today in the ruins of Bandelier National Monument and Tsankawi.
The land of the plateau was then divided up for homesteading. Most residents of the plateau built simple log cabins that they only lived in during warm weather to feed livestock, with the homesteaders moving down to the warmer Rio Grande Valley. Homesteader Harold H. Brook sold part of his land and buildings to Detroit businessman Ashley Pond II in 1917 which began the Los Alamos Ranch School, named after the aspen trees that blossomed in the spring.
In 1942, during World War II, the Department of War began looking for a remote location for the Manhattan Project. The school was closed when the government used its power of eminent domain to take over the Ranch School and all the remaining homestead that same year. The Ranch School was paid $225 per acre; the homesteaders were paid between $7 and $15 per acre. All information about the town was highly classified until the bombing of Hiroshima.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Los Alamos NM
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Los Alamos NM.
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