How to Pick the Right LPN Program near Grand Junction Colorado
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Grand Junction CO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 many different functions that they complete in the Grand Junction CO health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Grand Junction CO healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Grand Junction CO. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic 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 Grand Junction 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 Programs
Now that 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Grand Junction 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 previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Grand Junction CO.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Grand Junction CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Grand Junction CO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Grand Junction CO community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Grand Junction CO?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Grand Junction CO, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Grand Junction is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. The city has a council–manager form of government, and is the most populous municipality in all of western Colorado. Grand Junction is 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the state of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. It is a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.
The city is along the Colorado River, at its confluence with the Gunnison River, which comes in from the south. "Grand" refers to the historical Grand River; it was renamed the Upper Colorado River in 1921. "Junction" refers to the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Grand Junction has been nicknamed "River City". It is near the midpoint of a 30-mile (48 km) arcing valley, known as the Grand Valley; since the late 19th century it has been a major fruit-growing region. The valley was long occupied by the Ute people and earlier indigenous cultures. It was not settled by European-American farmers until the 1880s. Since the late 20th century, several wineries have been established in the area.
The Colorado National Monument, a unique series of canyons and mesas, overlooks the city on the west. Most of the area is surrounded by federal public lands managed by the US Bureau of Land Management. The Book Cliffs are a prominent series of cliffs that define the northern side of the Grand Valley. Interstate 70 connects the city eastward to Glenwood Springs and Denver and westward to Green River, Utah; Salt Lake City is reached to the west via Interstate 70 and U.S Route 6; and Las Vegas (via Interstate 70 and Interstate 15).
Choose the Right LPN Program near Grand Junction CO
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in How Many Years to Become an LPN. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Grand Junction CO.
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