How to Find the Right LPN College in Lewiston Maine
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Lewiston ME that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Lewiston ME health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Lewiston ME health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Maine that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lewiston ME, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lewiston ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 two year program after obtaining 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 earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lewiston ME area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Lewiston ME area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Lewiston ME as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Lewiston ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Maine schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to 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 Lewiston ME school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maine 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Lewiston ME 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Lewiston ME area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Maine require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Lewiston ME area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Lewiston 04240
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must take into account 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 emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Lewiston ME.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim 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 make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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