How to Choose an LPN Program in Hickory Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Hickory PA that will deliver the appropriate 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the function 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 different functions that they accomplish in the Hickory PA health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Hickory PA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hickory 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hickory PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hickory PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Hickory PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Hickory PA as well as the price 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Hickory PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Hickory PA school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hickory 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Hickory PA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Hickory PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Hickory 15340
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hickory PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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