How to Select an LPN Program in Clairton Pennsylvania
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Clairton PA that will furnish the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, 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 very 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 to start with, let’s have a look at the job 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 accomplish in the Clairton PA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being regulated by each state, the Clairton PA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Clairton PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Clairton PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve 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 Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Clairton PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Clairton PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with 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 realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Clairton PA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Clairton PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important that the Clairton PA school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Clairton PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Clairton PA area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Clairton PA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Clairton 15025
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Clairton PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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