How to Choose an LPN Program in Skowhegan Maine
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Skowhegan ME that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important points to consider, 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 extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the role 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 numerous duties that they complete in the Skowhegan ME medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Although 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Skowhegan ME health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available in Maine that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Skowhegan ME, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Skowhegan ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Skowhegan ME 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 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 minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Maine to make sure that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Skowhegan ME area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Skowhegan ME and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Skowhegan ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Maine 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Skowhegan ME school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Skowhegan ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Skowhegan ME area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Maine require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Skowhegan ME area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Skowhegan 04976
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Skowhegan ME.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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