How to Pick an LPN Program in Salem Connecticut
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Salem CT that will furnish the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Salem CT medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Connecticut. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Salem CT health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Connecticut that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Salem CT, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Salem CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Salem CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Salem CT area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once 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 options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Salem CT along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Salem CT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Salem CT school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Salem 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative 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 Salem CT area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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 too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Salem CT area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Salem 06420
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Salem CT.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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