How to Choose an LPN Program near Charleston Illinois
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Charleston IL that will deliver 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more 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 look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Charleston IL?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Charleston IL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Illinois. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Charleston IL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Illinois
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the course of study 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 programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Charleston IL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Charleston IL as well as within Illinois and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Charleston IL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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. Many 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Charleston IL 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Charleston IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Charleston IL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Charleston Illinois?
Charleston is a city in and the county seat of Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,838, as of the 2010 census. The city is home to Eastern Illinois University and has close ties with its neighbor, Mattoon. Both are principal cities of the Charleston–Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Native Americans lived in the Charleston area for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived. With the great tallgrass prairie to the west, beech-maple forests to the east, and the Embarras River and Wabash Rivers between, the Charleston area provided semi-nomadic Indians access to a variety of resources. Indians may have deliberately set the "wildfires" which maintained the local mosaic of prairie and oak–hickory forest. Streams with names like Indian Creek and Kickapoo Creek mark the sites of former Indian settlements. One village is said to have been located south of Fox Ridge State Park near a deposit of flint.
The early history of settlement in the area was marked by uneasy co-existence between Indians and Americans. Some settlers lived peacefully with the natives, but conflict arose in the 1810s and 1820s: after Indians allegedly harassed surveying crews, an escalating series of poorly documented skirmishes occurred between Indians, settlers, and the Illinois Rangers. Two pitched battles (complete with cannon on one side) occurred just south of Charleston along "the hills of the Embarrass," near the entrance to Lake Charleston park. These conflicts did not slow American settlement, and Indian history in Coles County effectively ended when all natives were expelled by law from Illinois after the 1832 Black Hawk War. With the grudging exception of Indian wives, the last natives were driven out by the 1840s.
First settled by Benjamin Parker in 1826, it was named for Charles Morton, its first postmaster. The city was established in 1831, but not incorporated until 1865. When Abraham Lincoln's father moved to a farm on Goosenest Prairie south of Charleston in 1831, Lincoln helped him move, then left to start his own homestead at New Salem in Sangamon County. Lincoln was a frequent visitor to the Charleston area, though he likely spent more time at the Coles County courthouse than at the home of his father and stepmother. One of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates was held in Charleston on September 18, 1858, and is now the site of the Coles County fairgrounds and a small museum. Lincoln's last visit was in 1859, when the future President visited his stepmother and his father's grave.
Pick the Right LPN School near Charleston IL
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Charleston IL.
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