How to Pick an LPN Program near Summertown Tennessee
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Summertown TN that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you reside 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria 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 too. 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 to start with, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Summertown TN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Summertown TN health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Summertown TN healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Tennessee
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Summertown TN. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Summertown TN as well as within Tennessee and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Summertown TN.
- 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Summertown TN 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Summertown TN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Summertown TN community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Summertown Tennessee?
Summertown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Lawrence County, Tennessee with a small portion in both Lewis County and Maury County. The population of Summertown was 866 at the 2010 census.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Summertown TN
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Summertown TN.
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