How to Pick an LPN College in Torrington Connecticut
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Torrington CT that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care 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 talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Torrington CT healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Connecticut. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Torrington CT health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available in Connecticut that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Torrington CT, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Torrington CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Torrington CT area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Torrington CT area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like 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, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Torrington CT as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Torrington CT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Torrington CT school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Torrington 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Torrington CT area 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Connecticut require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Torrington CT area.
Select the Right LPN Course Torrington 06790
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Torrington CT.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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