How to Select the Right LPN Program near Alamosa Colorado
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Alamosa CO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Alamosa CO medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction 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 encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Alamosa CO healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Alamosa CO. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Alamosa CO work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
Things to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Alamosa CO as well as within Colorado and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things 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 see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Alamosa CO.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Alamosa CO 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Alamosa CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Alamosa CO community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Alamosa CO?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Alamosa CO, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Alamosa is a city under Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Alamosa County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 8,780 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is the commercial center of the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado, and is the home of Adams State University.
Alamosa was established in May 1878 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and quickly became an important rail center. The railroad had an extensive construction, repair and shipping facility in Alamosa for many years and headquartered its remaining narrow gauge service here with trackage reaching many points throughout southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. Alamosa is now a notable tourist town with many nearby attractions, including the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Colorado Gators Reptile Park. The town hosts "Summer Fest on the Rio" which occurs the first weekend in June, the Early Iron car show over the Labor Day weekend, and "Weekends on the Rio" on various Sundays throughout the summer The city takes its name from the Spanish adjective Alamosa, meaning "of cottonwood", for the cottonwood forests which grow along the Rio Grande and throughout town.
Alamosa is located at 37°28′N 105°52′W / 37.467°N 105.867°W / 37.467; -105.867 (37.469, −105.874), at the junction of U.S. Routes 160 and 285. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.3 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (14.0 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 2.26%, is water.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Alamosa CO
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Nursing Program. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Alamosa CO.
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