How to Pick an LPN Program in Princeton Junction New Jersey
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Princeton Junction NJ that will furnish the proper training. 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they carry out in the Princeton Junction NJ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including New Jersey. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Princeton Junction NJ medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered in New Jersey that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Princeton Junction NJ, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Princeton Junction NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at New Jersey 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 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he 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 check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Princeton Junction NJ area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Princeton Junction NJ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper 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 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Princeton Junction NJ as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Princeton Junction NJ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited New Jersey schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Princeton Junction NJ school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Princeton Junction NJ 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Princeton Junction NJ area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in New Jersey require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Princeton Junction NJ area.
Pick the Right LPN Course Princeton Junction 08550
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Princeton Junction NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Cities in New Jersey That You Might Be Interested In