How to Pick an LPN Program in Mystic Connecticut
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Mystic CT that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Mystic CT healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Connecticut. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the Mystic CT health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Connecticut that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Mystic CT, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mystic CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Connecticut 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 want to progress 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mystic CT area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Mystic CT area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Mystic CT as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Mystic CT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Mystic CT school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mystic CT 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Mystic CT area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Connecticut require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Mystic CT area.
Choose the Right LPN Training Mystic 06355
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Mystic CT.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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