How to Select an LPN Program in Hubbardston Massachusetts
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Hubbardston MA that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 talk about in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Hubbardston MA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees 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:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Hubbardston MA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered in Massachusetts that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 type of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hubbardston MA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Hubbardston MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hubbardston MA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the education 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Hubbardston MA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Hubbardston MA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Hubbardston MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain 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, vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hubbardston MA school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hubbardston MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 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 contacts in the Hubbardston MA area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. 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 Hubbardston MA area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Hubbardston 01452
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hubbardston MA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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