LPN Program in Illinois

  1. hey everyone,
    just got the best news from the illinois department of professional regulation - nursing board they passed my curriculum for a lpn program!!! i never really knew exactly how hard this is until i opened my big mouth and told my boss, “sure i can create a practical nursing program.” every aspect of the curriculum had to be written, all reading and research material to be read, skills to be demonstrated and goals to be achieved. i also had to put together the student handbook so that every student would know exactly what is expected of them at every level.
    while this was a lot of work, i am really proud of how it turned out and am very excited about actually beginning the course. now i’m getting the skills lab in order, complete with 3 bedside stations and manikins for our students to learn on. after this it will be on to the real part of all of this – teaching the students.
    if anyone has any suggestions, i am all ‘ears.’ this is the first time i’ve ever taken on anything like this. i owned a medicare home health agency and let me tell ya’ that was easy compared to this. i’m getting nervous because i feel so responsible for what each student will learn and how they will ultimately practice once they graduate. and, i want to make sure they all understand that they should never stop learning and going on for rn licensure should be a goal for hem.
  2. Visit spydercadet profile page

    About spydercadet

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 94; Likes: 50


  3. by   Jolie
    How wonderful! A great big congratulations going out to you! Please continue to post on the start-up of this LPN program. I would love to hear more about it!
  4. by   cholli
    remember - adult learning model- who is responsible for the learning?
  5. by   spydercadet
    i know it is definitely the student who is responsible for their own learning, but that is a huge weakness of mine. but it's like "they" say, admitting you have a problem is the first step in fixing it!!! i have grown better at drawing boundaries and lines of responsibility, so it is my hope that i can keep it that way. one of the things i set up in the program will be weekly faculty meetings so that we can all get together and bounce our ups, downs, cares and concerns off of one another. i really believe when we as nurses work together to make each other stronger and more effective, we are at our best. we are our greatest asset; we just don’t always practice our abilities to care and support one another as often as we should. this, though, is definitely changeable and i am going to start with myself then my staff and ultimately make sure every student understand and practice that support and concern for our profession!!! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o>
  6. by   barb4575
    Hi Spyder,

    Congratulations on getting your proposal approved! Wow, what an accomplishment. I did not do that part, but took over before the students arrived. It was an ADN program-two branches, and trust me, if you are the type of educator and Director that gives too much, be very careful. I am the same way and I can tell you that I allowed them all to drain me dry, especially my boss; directed two campuses and taught full-time at one campus for five months. At the end of the first year, I wanted to resign, but the board of nursing stated they would close the programs if I did so.

    She paid me slave labor wages and had no money to administer these colleges. Hopefully, she will soon be removed from this state. She lost one campus one month after I resigned. What I can tell you is that the accrediting bodies should never have approved that proposal or curriculum. I am writing professionally about the nightmare of an experience and I pray it will be published. It will also be my dissertation focus: Corruption, Greed, and Politics in Nursing Education. I am passionate about keeping these types of individuals out of nursing education; it is not a money-maker, so why go into that business if that is your goal? The students paid $5k a semester for a new program. The students did not receive a quality education as no one of quality and integrity would come to work there. Plus, she rarely advertised and her salary range was very low.

    One of the branch campuses is still open so these students can graduate. The local hospital CEO will support them financially because he wants the graduates because no one would travel to his hospital for the low wages he pays.

    It has not been printed by the media, but it will be soon. The reporter said, this makes a great story. In my opinion, it is the saddest story in nursing education. I did testify against them in a board hearing and for that part, I am proud. There have been several very sad stories in this part of the country and this one has to beat them all.

    She was ignorant enough to slander me on the phone during a job reference check. I was not terminated, but a large majority were terminated and I am not so sure some of them will recover. When I said I hoped she returned to AZ, a friend said the ultimate laugh of the day, he hoped she would go to Iraq or North Korea. It is difficult to love and forgive the unlovable.

    Both programs were in compliance with the board when I resigned. There are not many advanced practice nurses in this area and they had difficulty finding a Director. Of course, it helps to advertise for that need as well.

    I hope you do not have this experience...does the admin have the money for the new college? If not, get out quick! We had to have the skills lab ready for approval by the board first, then I got the final approval. The LPN Director of the programs is no longer there, but she has 35 years of experience in PN education so let me know if you have any questions via PM and I will ask her.

    Good luck and above all else: be consistent, take care of yourself physically and emotionally, and stand up for YOU--trust me, when you are exhausted, no one will stand up for you.

  7. by   spydercadet
    thanks for the input, i really appreciate it. i do know how vulnerable i am on the whole weakness for someone's sad story thing. i had my own business before and became the standing joke at the local chamber of commerce; need money, don't want to work for it? get a job with <?xml:namespace prefix = st2 ns = "urn:schemas:contacts" /><st2:givenname w:st="on">peg</st2:givenname>, the less you do the more likely she'll be to give you a raise and make sure you do less for it. it was a very hard lesson to learn. i am hoping that with regular faculty meetings we can all keep this aspect of ourselves under control. i have never been one to say, "not me, i don't need anyone's help." so i will see what happens and keep a check on things, i have found that keeping a journal has helped me put some of this into proper perspective.
    as far as the school having the money, they have been very generous to me, not to mention the ego boosts i get on a fairly regular basis. it really does feel good when you are recognized for your accomplishments. it's sad for me to say but i get more encouragement and support from non-nursing people, you'd think it would be the other way around. one of the things i stress in the cna course i teach is how to care for people, not just take care of them. the state exam in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comillinois</st1:state> is not very hard and after awhile i started to realize that i was never really going to be able to teach them everything they would need to know. so i changed my approach; i just make sure they have the basics to do the job. the rest of my time with the students is stressing the need to take care of people like they would like to be cared for. i talk to them about how frustrating it is when the checker at the grocery store is talking to the bagger and both act like you're not there. i just love seeing the light bulb go on over their heads, they truly empathize with that and are able to understand how important it is to be present to their patients. i also throw in real life examples of having a meal at a friend's house, or the embarrassment they might feel if they lost control of some body function. or i'll put one of them in the back of the room facing the wall and say i'll be right there. the conversations and the solutions the students come up with are very creative, some of it i never even thought of before; i still get to learn, what fun. this is why i went into education even though sometimes it can be very frustrating.

    with the lpn program, i am waiting for state board representatives to come and see the lab but i can't believe they won't pass us on that. but if you do have any suggestions about what i may need to have in the skills lab that the state will be looking for, i am all ears. i love getting as much input as i can. i can't wait until the first class starts. the plan right now is <st1:date w:st="on" year="2007" day="1" month="7" ls="trans">july 1, 2007</st1:date> and i don't know who is more excited, me, the owners or two of my cna students who are ready to go for their lpn. <o
    oh ya, almost forgot, where can i get some ideas for a nursing pin? i remember my pinning ceremony; it was my second proudest day in nursing school. the proudest day was when i actually graduated. also, what are your thoughts about a full fledged graduation ceremony, i think that is another important aspect. these were the things i looked forward to when i was in school and sometimes they became the only reasons that made me keep going.
  8. by   barb4575
    Hi Peg,

    I think you will do very well in this position and I wish you nothing short of success! I was referring to whether or not the college had the money for the start up. My wage wasn't bad for the area, but when you divided out the hours, I could have been working as a CNA and made more.

    The skills lab took a great deal of time to set up and organize. Do you have the manikins, supplies, and visual aids available to the students? We had an inventory of all of the items in there and kept expensive items locked up. The instructor that used the equipment had to sign out for it so that we always had a current inventory; this helped with ordering. The PN students had nursing bags with equipment, but I thought that was too expensive. I bought individual items for them to practice in the lab and kept them stored in a closet in the lab. When they had to do invasive procedures, such as Foley cath insertion, I gave each student one so they could practice at home. I also had a sign-up sheet in the lab so that I knew who was using the skills lab on their own time. When I noticed they were slacking, I would speak to them about being independent learners. Somehow, that usually motivated them to get back in there.

    I liked one company for the pin--better than the other two and can share that with you via e-mail if you want. The mold costs about $200 since this will be the first pin for your school. But, the pin wasn't that expensive for the students. The company is in the midwest, but not IL.

    I loved Nightingale uniforms. They were high quality and the students looked very professional in them. The service was excellent. They are in AL. Just remember to be thinking of all students' sizes when selecting your uniform. Some uniforms do not look well on certain body types.

    For graduation, I think it is imperative that there be a graduation committee and allow the students' input. I allowed them to vote on the date, location, pin, cap/gown/tassle (for an ADN program), and it works best to get them involved. It is their ceremony and some will want to work hard to make it nice.

    I loved the powerpoint presentation during the ceremony with the students' individual pictures and group pictures, plus music. Don't forget to take pictures of them throughout the year so they can do it this way if they want to do so. I also am older and I love the Nightingale pledge with the candle lighting. I also allowed them to choose a speaker besides the Director. Make sure that the reception is nice too--it isn't something that should be put together at the last minute or done cheaply. With your excitement, I doubt you would allow it. I wouldn't and paid to make it nice.

    I wish you the best and keep that excitement up. You can always e-mail me as I do not check this site as often since I am working on my doctorate and employed.


  9. by   Kai2007
    Where is your school located? I know some people that are currently looking to change fields and this may be a good start.
  10. by   spydercadet
    Hi Kai2007,
    We're located in Chicago and one of the Western Suburbs just outside of the city. Just let me know if I can be of any help.
  11. by   Kai2007
    Hi Spydercadet,
    How can I get in contact with your school? Do you have a website? I would like to get some more info. regarding the LPN program...thanks.
  12. by   ilbacio
    Quote from spydercadet
    Hi Kai2007,
    We're located in Chicago and one of the Western Suburbs just outside of the city. Just let me know if I can be of any help.
    Looks like a couple of us are interested...
    What is the name of your school? Website? Where exactly is it located?
    I'm looking for an LPN program asap. I live in Chicago...
  13. by   Checking...
    I am a student who just finished her pre-req for most nursing programs but I am having a hard time finding a LPN nursing school in Chicago PLEASE HELP!!!!!
  14. by   proverbs2511
    For pins: JH Recognition 800-224-1657. You can also get lamps at a good price for pinning. I would love to share my pinning with you. It is an awesome ceremony and the students love the old-fashioned traditional ceremony. Let me know if you are interested. Good luck in your new endeavor. I teach LPN's and I love it!