How to Choose the Right LPN College near Washington District of Columbia
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Washington DC. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they complete in the Washington DC healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including District of Columbia. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Washington DC healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Washington DC. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training 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 Washington DC 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Washington DC as well as within District of Columbia and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Washington DC.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for District of Columbia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the District of Columbia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Washington DC 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Washington DC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Washington DC community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Washington DC?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Washington DC, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017[update], making it the 20th largest American city by population. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
Pick the Right LPN School near Washington DC
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, 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 Vocational Nursing Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Washington DC.
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