How to Pick the Best LPN Training Program near Walnut Creek California
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Walnut Creek CA that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for 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. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training 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 education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Walnut Creek CA health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Walnut Creek CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Walnut Creek CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Walnut Creek CA. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Walnut Creek CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Walnut Creek CA.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Walnut Creek CA 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 finish 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 Walnut Creek CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Walnut Creek CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online LPN Programs Walnut Creek California
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online LPN Programs and wanting to get more information on the topic LPN Diploma. However, by using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Walnut Creek CA.
More Nursing Locations in California
Walnut Creek, California
Walnut Creek is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 16 miles (26 kilometres) east of the city of Oakland. With a total estimated population of 69,122, Walnut Creek serves as a hub for its neighboring cities because of its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24) and its accessibility by BART. Its active downtown neighborhood features hundred-year-old buildings and extensive high-end retail establishments, restaurants and entertainment venues.
There are three bands of Bay Miwok Indians associated with early Walnut Creek: the Saclan, whose territory extended through the hills east of present-day Oakland, Rossmoor, Lafayette, Moraga and Walnut Creek; the Volvon (also spelled Bolbon, Wolwon and Zuicun) near Mt. Diablo; and the Tactan located on the San Ramon Creek in Danville and Walnut Creek.
Today's Walnut Creek is located within the earlier site of four Mexican land grants. One of these land grants – measuring 18,000 acres (73 km2) – belonged to Juana Sanchez de Pacheco, who eventually passed the land down to her two grandsons. Ygnacio Sibrian, one of the grandsons, created the first roofed home in the valley in about 1850. The grant was called Rancho Arroyo de Las Nueces y Bolbones, named after the principal waterway, Arroyo de las Nueces (Walnut Creek), as well as for the local group of indigenous Americans (Bolbones). The Arroyo de las Nueces was named for the evidence of the native species of walnut tree, the California Walnut.
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