How to Select an LPN College in Crofton Maryland
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Crofton MD that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Crofton MD health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the Crofton MD healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Maryland that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Crofton MD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 offered in the Crofton MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 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.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Maryland 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 training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Crofton MD area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maryland 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Crofton MD area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Crofton MD along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the Crofton MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Maryland 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Crofton MD school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Maryland school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Crofton MD 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 important 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 Crofton MD area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Crofton MD area.
Select the Right LPN Degree Crofton 21114
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Crofton MD.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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