How to Find the Right LPN Program in Benton Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Benton PA that will deliver the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care 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 cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Benton PA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically 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. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking 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 based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the Benton PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Benton PA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Benton PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Benton PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some Benton PA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Benton PA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Benton PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Benton PA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Benton PA 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 colleges 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 essential 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 relationships in the Benton PA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Benton PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Benton 17814
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 Benton PA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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