How to Find the Right LPN Program near Alexandria Minnesota
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Alexandria MN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn 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, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 functions that they accomplish in the Alexandria MN health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Minnesota. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Alexandria MN healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Alexandria MN. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited 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.
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 Alexandria MN 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.
Questions to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Alexandria MN as well as within Minnesota and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Alexandria MN.
- 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) along with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at 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. Additionally, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Alexandria MN 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 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 displeased 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 Alexandria MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Alexandria MN community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Alexandria MN?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Alexandria MN, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Alexandria is a city and the county seat of Douglas County, Minnesota. First settled in 1858, it was named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.
The village of Alexandria was incorporated February 20, 1877. Its city charter was adopted in 1908, and it was incorporated as a city in 1909. W.E. Hicks was pivotal to the early development of the town. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.
The population was 11,070 as of the 2010 census. Alexandria is located near Interstate 94, along Minnesota State Highways 27 and 29. Lake Carlos State Park is ten miles north of Alexandria. In 2013, Alexandria was picked as a "Top 10 Best Small Town" by the Livability website. The city is often abbreviated as "Alex" (pronounced "Alek").
Pick the Right LPN Program near Alexandria MN
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online LVN Programs. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alexandria MN.
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