How to Pick an LPN College in Short Hills New Jersey
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Short Hills NJ that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective 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 points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, 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 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 education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Short Hills NJ health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New Jersey. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including 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 oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the Short Hills NJ medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered in New Jersey that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Short Hills NJ, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two 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 Short Hills NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 receiving 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 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Short Hills NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some Short Hills NJ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Short Hills NJ and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Short Hills NJ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited New Jersey schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Short Hills NJ school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, 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 regional Short Hills 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Short Hills NJ area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in New Jersey require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Short Hills NJ area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Short Hills 07078
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Short Hills NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors 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 appeals to you along with 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 ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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