How to Pick an LPN College in South Walpole Massachusetts
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in South Walpole MA that will deliver the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties 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 start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the South Walpole MA health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the South Walpole MA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally 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 time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in South Walpole MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the South Walpole MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after obtaining 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 attained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the South Walpole MA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain South Walpole MA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to South Walpole MA as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the South Walpole MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the South Walpole MA school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional South Walpole 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the South Walpole MA area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the South Walpole MA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree South Walpole 02071
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in South Walpole MA.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in Massachusetts That You Might Be Interested In