How to Pick the Right LPN School near Palo Alto California
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Palo Alto CA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum 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 many different tasks that they accomplish in the Palo Alto CA medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including California. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Palo Alto CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Palo Alto CA. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little 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 Palo Alto 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 Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Palo Alto 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 manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Palo Alto CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Palo Alto 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 considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Palo Alto CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Palo Alto CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Palo Alto CA?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Palo Alto CA, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto (/ˌpæloʊ ˈæltoʊ/) is a charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Palo Alto means tall tree in Spanish; the city is named after a coastal redwood tree called El Palo Alto.
The city was established by Leland Stanford Sr. when he founded Stanford University, following the death of his son, Leland Stanford Jr. Palo Alto includes portions of Stanford University and shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. As of the 2010 census, the city's total resident population is 64,403. Palo Alto is one of the five most expensive cities in the United States to live in and its residents are among the highest educated in the country.
Palo Alto is headquarters to a number of high-technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard (HP), Space Systems/Loral, VMware, Tesla, Ford Research and Innovation Center, PARC, IDEO, Skype, Palantir Technologies, Houzz, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. Palo Alto has also served as an incubator and as headquarters to several other prominent high-technology companies such as Apple,Google,Facebook, Logitech,Intuit, Pinterest, and PayPal.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program near Palo Alto CA
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Online Schools. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Palo Alto CA.
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