How to Choose an LPN Program in Salisbury Maryland
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Salisbury MD that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Salisbury MD healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the Salisbury MD health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available in Maryland that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Salisbury MD, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Salisbury MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Salisbury MD area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just 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 minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Salisbury MD area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Salisbury MD as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 Salisbury MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Maryland schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Salisbury MD school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Salisbury 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Salisbury MD area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Salisbury MD area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Salisbury 21801
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Salisbury MD.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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