How to Find the Right LPN College in Grand Valley Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Grand Valley PA that will furnish the necessary education. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more 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 have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of tasks that they carry out in the Grand Valley PA health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Grand Valley PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available in Pennsylvania that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Grand Valley PA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Grand Valley PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Grand Valley PA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many Grand Valley PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Grand Valley PA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 Grand Valley PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Grand Valley PA school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Grand Valley 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Grand Valley PA area to help 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Grand Valley PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Grand Valley 16420
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Grand Valley PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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