How to Choose an LPN Program in Hermitage Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Hermitage PA that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Hermitage PA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Hermitage PA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous 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 available in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hermitage PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hermitage PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might desire 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hermitage PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Hermitage PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Hermitage PA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Hermitage PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Hermitage PA school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Hermitage 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative 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 contacts in the Hermitage PA area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Hermitage PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Hermitage 16148
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Hermitage PA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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