How to Choose the Right LPN Program near Bakersfield California
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Bakersfield CA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to 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 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 functions that they carry out in the Bakersfield CA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Bakersfield CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Bakersfield CA. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school 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 Bakersfield CA 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
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Bakersfield CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Bakersfield CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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. Some states require a certain 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at 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, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Bakersfield CA 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bakersfield CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Bakersfield CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Bakersfield CA?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Bakersfield CA, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Bakersfield is a city and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles (370 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is approximately 380,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of over 500,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.
The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. The Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley. The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
Select the Right LPN Program near Bakersfield CA
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Online School. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Bakersfield CA.
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