How to Enroll In an LPN School in Darby Pennsylvania
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Darby PA that will deliver the necessary 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 extremely important too. 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Darby PA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the Darby PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Darby PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
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 just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Darby PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including 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) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 wish 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
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 Darby PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Darby PA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Darby PA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 Darby PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Pennsylvania 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Darby PA school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Darby PA 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 colleges 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Darby PA area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Darby PA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Darby 19023
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Darby PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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