How to Pick an LPN School in Cambridge Springs Pennsylvania
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Cambridge Springs PA that will provide 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 distinction, aside from 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 responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Cambridge Springs PA healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the Cambridge Springs 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 different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide instruction 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 second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cambridge Springs PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cambridge Springs PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies 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 ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cambridge Springs PA area. The duration of the training program 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the education 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Cambridge Springs PA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Cambridge Springs PA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Cambridge Springs PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as 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 Cambridge Springs PA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Cambridge Springs 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cambridge Springs PA area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Cambridge Springs PA area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Cambridge Springs 16403
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Cambridge Springs PA.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous 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 in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Pennsylvania That You Might Be Interested In