How to Choose an LPN School near Chattanooga Tennessee
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Chattanooga TN that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover 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 Chattanooga TN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Chattanooga TN health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Chattanooga TN healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles 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 Tennessee
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 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
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chattanooga TN. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue 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
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 utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Chattanooga TN as well as within Tennessee and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Chattanooga TN.
- 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Chattanooga 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 schools you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chattanooga TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chattanooga TN community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Chattanooga Tennessee?
Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 177,571 in 2016. The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles (190 km) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles (217 km) southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles (190 km) northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles (238 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
The city, with a downtown elevation of approximately 680 feet (210 m), lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Surrounded by mountains and ridges, the official nickname for Chattanooga is the Scenic City, reinforced by the city's reputation for outdoor activities. Unofficial nicknames include River City, Chatt, Nooga, Chattown, and Gig City, referencing Chattanooga's claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.
The city has its own typeface, Chatype, which was launched in August 2012. According to the Nooga.com website, this marks the first time that an American city has its own custom-made typeface and also the first time a crowd-funded custom-made typeface has been used for any municipality in the world.
The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were Native Americans. Sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period showed continuous occupation through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian/Muskogean/Yuchi (900–1714 ce), and Cherokee (1776–1838). The Chickamauga Mound near the mouth of the Chickamauga Creek is the oldest remaining visible art in Chattanooga.
Select the Right LPN Program near Chattanooga TN
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Chattanooga TN.
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