How to Choose an LPN School in Hopedale Massachusetts
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Hopedale MA that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 job 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 a number of functions that they complete in the Hopedale MA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the Hopedale MA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Massachusetts that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hopedale MA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hopedale MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hopedale MA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure 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 Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Hopedale MA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Hopedale MA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Hopedale MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hopedale MA school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hopedale MA 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Hopedale MA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Hopedale MA area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Hopedale 01747
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 an LPN in Hopedale MA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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