How to Choose an LPN School in Ridgely Maryland
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Ridgely MD that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision 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 following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. 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 to start with, let’s have a 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 numerous tasks that they perform in the Ridgely MD health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the Ridgely MD healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Maryland that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ridgely MD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ridgely MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Maryland community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ridgely MD area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Maryland to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Ridgely MD area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Ridgely MD along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 along with the Ridgely MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Maryland schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Ridgely MD school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Ridgely 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 colleges you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential 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 Ridgely MD area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Ridgely MD area.
Select the Right LPN Training Ridgely 21660
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Ridgely MD.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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