How to Choose an LPN School near El Cerrito California
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near El Cerrito CA that will provide the necessary education. 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 health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in El Cerrito CA?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the El Cerrito CA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other El Cerrito CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in California
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become an LPN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader 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 in-depth training, 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 attests that the course of study adequately 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 growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in El Cerrito CA. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part 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 alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near El Cerrito CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near El Cerrito CA.
- 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) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local El Cerrito CA 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the El Cerrito CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local El Cerrito CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in El Cerrito California?
El Cerrito, California
El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city. The top 20 employers in the city, according to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, include such entities as the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the City of El Cerrito, Lucky Stores, Pastime ACE Hardware, and Honda of El Cerrito.
El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. They settled in what was then Don Víctor Castro's Rancho San Pablo, and adjacent to the ranch owned by the family of Luís María Peralta, the Rancho San Antonio. A post office opened at the settlement in 1909 and the refugee camp became known as Rust, after Wilhelm F. Rust, its first postmaster. The village's residents did not care for the name and changed it to El Cerrito in 1916. A year later, El Cerrito was incorporated as a village with 1,500 residents. The name means "little hill" or "knoll".
El Cerrito is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. The hilly areas of El Cerrito provide views of its neighboring city, and of the Golden Gate Bridge. El Cerrito is located along Interstate 80, and nearby Interstate 580. The city is less than 30 miles from two major airports. El Cerrito is bordered by Albany and Kensington to the south, the Richmond annex to the west, East Richmond Heights to the north, and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park to the east. Local landmark Albany Hill is in Albany, just across the border with El Cerrito. (El Cerrito—Spanish, "the little hill"—takes its name from Albany Hill.) The Hayward Fault runs through El Cerrito. In addition, El Cerrito is within 150 meters (490 feet) of Berkeley to the southeast.
The city's primary transportation infrastructure consists of the El Cerrito Plaza and El Cerrito del Norte BART stations, along with several local bus lines operated by AC Transit, providing access to the surrounding area and the nearby cities of Albany, Berkeley and Richmond. In addition to this local service, El Cerrito is also served by AC Transit's transbay buses to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, as well as its late night service from the del Norte station through Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole, and one of the All Nighter routes, which follows the Richmond-Millbrae BART line. FAST, Golden Gate Transit, Vallejo Transit, Napa VINE, and WestCat provide feeder service between the del Norte station and elsewhere in Contra Costa County and the North Bay.
Pick the Right LPN School near El Cerrito CA
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in El Cerrito CA.
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