How to Choose an LPN Program near Sumter South Carolina
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Sumter SC that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart 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. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When initiating 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 costly. While cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance 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 potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Sumter SC?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they complete in the Sumter SC health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Carolina. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Sumter SC healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in South Carolina
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 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 schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Sumter SC. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Sumter SC as well as within South Carolina and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Sumter SC.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Sumter SC 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Sumter SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Sumter SC community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Sumter South Carolina?
Sumter, South Carolina
Sumter /ˈsʌmtər/ is a city in and the county seat of Sumter County, South Carolina, United States. Known as the Sumter Metropolitan Statistical Area, the namesake county adjoins Clarendon and Lee to form the core of Sumter-Lee-Clarendon tri-county area of South Carolina, an area that includes the three counties in the east central Piedmont. The population was 39,643 at the 2000 census, and it rose to 40,524 at the 2010 census.
Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city's name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War.
During the Civil War, the town was an important supply and railroad repair center for the Confederacy. After the war, Sumter grew and prospered, using its large railroad network to supply cotton, timber, and by the start of the 20th century, tobacco to the region.
During the 20th century, Sumter grew into a major industrial center. Starting with the opening of Shaw Air Force Base (now home to the 9th Air Force, 20th Fighter Wing, and United States Army Central) in 1941, industry grew, especially after World War II. Sumter became increasingly known for textiles, manufacturing, biotech industries, a thriving retail environment and medical center of its region in addition to agricultural products, which makes it a hub for business in the east central portion of South Carolina.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program near Sumter SC
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Sumter SC.
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