How to Enroll In the Right LPN Program near Fergus Falls Minnesota
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Fergus Falls MN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 a number of duties that they carry out in the Fergus Falls MN healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Minnesota. Although they may be responsible for managing 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 instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Fergus Falls MN healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Fergus Falls MN. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient 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 Fergus Falls 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.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Fergus Falls MN as well as within Minnesota and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Fergus Falls MN.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each 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 speak with some local Fergus Falls MN 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fergus Falls MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fergus Falls MN community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Fergus Falls MN?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Fergus Falls MN, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
The falls from which the city gets part of its name were discovered by Joe Whitford (a Scottish trapper) in 1856 and was promptly named in honor of his employer, James Fergus. It is not known whether James Fergus ever visited the city, but Joe Whitford did not live to see the city develop, as he was killed during the 1862 Dakota war in western Minnesota. In 1867, George B. Wright was at the land office at St. Cloud and found Whitford's lapsed claim, purchased the land, and built what is now the Central Dam in downtown Fergus Falls around 1871. After Wright died in 1882, his son Vernon would move from Boston to Minnesota and take over his father's interests in the town. Vern Wright would also be one of the two people who established the Otter Tail Power Company in 1907. The city was incorporated in the late 1870s and is situated along the dividing line between the former great deciduous forest of the Northwest Territories to the East, and the great plains to the West, in a region of gentle hills, where the recent geological history is dominated by the recession of the glaciers from the last great Ice Age, with numerous lakes and small rivers about.
Two major tornadoes hit Fergus Falls during the early 20th century, the second, the 1919 Fergus Falls tornado, being the greater. The only church edifice left standing after the great cyclone was the predominantly-black Baptist church.
Fergus Falls features many different parks (tallgrass prairie and eastern woodlands), stores, and other tourist attractions. The Union Avenue Bridge spans the Otter Tail River, and was reconstructed in 2004. Just below the bridge is part of scenic River Walk Park, which spans about a mile of the river. The part nearest the Union Avenue Bridge was redone along with the bridge. The town hall was modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The building's west wing housed the city fire station until the 1970s. Some other points of interest include: the county museum, Lake Alice, George B. Wright Park, Pebble Lake Golf Course, and Veteran's Memorial Park. The arts in Fergus Falls are booming with a wonderful community theater program situated in the downtown area. Many local, as well as professional talents, perform at A Center for the Arts.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Fergus Falls MN
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Licensed Vocational Nurse Programs. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Fergus Falls MN.
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