How to Select an LPN College in Bladensburg Maryland
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Bladensburg MD that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Bladensburg MD healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each 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 functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Bladensburg MD medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available in Maryland that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bladensburg MD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bladensburg MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bladensburg MD area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Bladensburg MD area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Bladensburg MD as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Bladensburg MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Maryland schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bladensburg MD school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Bladensburg MD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Bladensburg MD area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Bladensburg MD area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Bladensburg 20710
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Bladensburg MD.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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