How to Select an LPN School near Dickson Tennessee
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Dickson TN that will provide the right instruction. If you live 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 perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover 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 training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Dickson TN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Dickson TN healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Dickson TN healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles 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 essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 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 favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Dickson TN. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Once 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 start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Dickson TN as well as within Tennessee 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 mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Dickson TN.
- 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) in addition to 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Dickson 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 complete 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 favorable reputation within the Dickson TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Dickson TN community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Dickson Tennessee?
Dickson is a city in Dickson County, Tennessee, United States. It is part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population at the 2010 census was 14,538, with an estimate of 14,993 in 2014.
Dickson is located in south-central Dickson County at 36°4′17″N 87°22′28″W / 36.07139°N 87.37444°W / 36.07139; -87.37444 (36.071485, -87.374539). It is bordered to the east by the town of Burns. U.S. Route 70 passes through the north side of the city as Henslee Drive; it leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Nashville and west 62 miles (100 km) to Huntingdon. Interstate 40 passes through the Dickson city limits 5 miles (8 km) south of the center of town, with access from Exit 172 (Tennessee State Route 46). I-40 leads east 37 miles (60 km) to Nashville from Exit 172 and west 92 miles (148 km) to Jackson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Dickson has a total area of 20.0 square miles (51.9 km2), of which 20.0 square miles (51.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.41%, is water. The city center sits on the Tennessee Valley Divide, with the southwest side of the city draining via the East Piney River to the Piney River, then to the Duck River, and then to the Tennessee River, while the northeast side drains via Turnbull Creek or Jones Creek to the Harpeth River and thence to the Cumberland River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,244 people, 4,934 households, and 3,300 families residing in the city. There were 24,325 people in the 37055 zip code. The population density was 743.4 people per square mile (287.0/km²). There were 5,280 housing units at an average density of 320.6 per square mile (123.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.86% White, 8.83% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.77% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.94% of the population.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Dickson TN
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Dickson TN.
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