How to Choose an LPN Program near Smyrna Tennessee
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Smyrna TN that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Smyrna TN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Smyrna TN health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Tennessee. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 find patients seeking medical assistance 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 routine job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Smyrna TN healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Tennessee
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Smyrna TN. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount 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 solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Smyrna TN as well as within Tennessee and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Smyrna TN.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending 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. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Smyrna 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Smyrna TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Smyrna TN community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Smyrna Tennessee?
Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Smyrna's population was 39,974 at the 2010 census and 43,063 in 2013. In 2007, U.S. News & World Report listed Smyrna as one of the best places in the United States to retire.
The town of Smyrna has its European-American roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. It was important during the Civil War because its railroad station lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis, who, after being charged with spying, gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured November 20, 1863, and was hanged by Union forces on November 27 of that year. The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland, is the town's most important historical site.
In 1941 during World War II, Sewart Air Force Base was established here and served as a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. On its portion, the state opened and operates a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was developed as the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.
During the 1970s, many new industries moved to the area. The city began a period of growth stimulated by production of such companies as Better Built Aluminum, Cumberland Swan (currently known as Vi-Jon, Inc.), and Square D building plants. In the early 1980s, planning began to build a Nissan Motors manufacturing plant and, in 1983, the first vehicle was produced. The Nissan plant now employs around 8,400 workers, has a production capacity of 640,000 vehicles annually, and covers an area of 5,200,000 sq ft (480,000 m2). In 2012, Smyrna began manufacturing Nissan's electric car, the Nissan Leaf.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Smyrna TN
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Smyrna TN.
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