How to Select an LPN Program near Oakland Tennessee
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Oakland TN that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, 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 also. 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Oakland TN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they accomplish in the Oakland TN health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Oakland TN healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Tennessee
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants 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 in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Oakland TN. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN 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 use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Oakland TN as well as within Tennessee and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Oakland TN.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Oakland TN 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Oakland TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Oakland TN community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Oakland Tennessee?
Oakland is a town in Fayette County, Tennessee, United States. In 2010 the population of the town was 6,623, a gain of 417.8% since 2000, for the largest gain of any municipality in the tri-state area of Memphis TN-MS-AR.
Oakland is located in west-central Fayette County. U.S. Route 64 is the main highway through town, leading east 9 miles (14 km) to Somerville, the county seat, and west 32 miles (51 km) to downtown Memphis. Tennessee Routes 194 and 196 are north-south state highways in Oakland.
According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010 the town had a total area of 10.3 square miles (26.6 km2), compared to a total area in 2000 of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2). The town limits have expanded north and south of the original town center, and especially to the west along US 64, extending 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to nearly reach the Shelby County line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,279 people, 510 households, and 401 families residing in the town. The population density was 354.9 people per square mile (137.2/km²). There were 554 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 81.47% White, 16.50% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 0.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Oakland TN
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 Oakland TN.
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