How to Choose the Right LPN College near Tampa Florida
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Tampa FL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Tampa FL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Florida. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Tampa FL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Tampa FL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier 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 Tampa FL 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.
What 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 on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Tampa FL as well as within Florida and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Tampa FL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Tampa FL 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Tampa FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Tampa FL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Tampa FL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Tampa FL, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Tampa is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 377,165 in 2016.
Archaeological evidence indicates the shores of Tampa Bay were inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Safety Harbor culture developed in the area around the year 1000 AD, and the descendant Tocobaga and Pohoy chiefdoms were living in or near the current city limits of Tampa when the area was first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Interactions between native peoples and the Spanish were brief and often violent, and although the newcomers did not stay for long, they introduced European diseases which brought the collapse of native societies across the Florida peninsula over the ensuing decades. Although Spain claimed all of Florida and beyond as part of New Spain, it did not found a colony on the west coast. After the disappearance of the indigenous populations, there were no permanent settlements in the Tampa Bay area until after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821.
In 1824, the United States Army established a frontier outpost called Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, near the site of today's Tampa Convention Center downtown. The first civilian residents were pioneer ranchers and farmers who settled near the fort for protection from the nearby Seminole population. The town grew slowly, and had become a minor shipping port for cattle and citrus by the time of the United States Civil War. Tampa Bay was blockaded by the United States Navy during the war, and Tampa fell into a long period of economic stagnation that continued long after the war ended. The situation finally improved in the 1880s, when the first railroad links, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry jump-started its development, helping Tampa to grow from an isolated village with less than 800 residents in 1880 to a bustling city of over 30,000 by the early 1900s.
Select the Right LPN Program near Tampa FL
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Accredited Online LPN Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Tampa FL.
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