How to Enroll In an LPN Program in North Dighton Massachusetts
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in North Dighton MA that will provide the appropriate instruction. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, 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 discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function 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 many different functions that they accomplish in the North Dighton MA medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated 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 direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the North Dighton MA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further 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 principally two scholastic credentials offered in Massachusetts that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in North Dighton MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the North Dighton MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the North Dighton MA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as 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
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain North Dighton MA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to North Dighton MA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, 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 North Dighton MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the North Dighton MA school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby North Dighton MA 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 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the North Dighton MA area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the North Dighton MA area.
Choose the Right LPN Program North Dighton 02764
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in North Dighton MA.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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