How to Select an LPN Training in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Jim Thorpe PA that will furnish the proper 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 as well. There are even more 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 to start with, 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 tasks that they carry out in the Jim Thorpe PA health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the Jim Thorpe PA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available in Pennsylvania that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Jim Thorpe PA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Jim Thorpe PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Jim Thorpe PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Jim Thorpe PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 discussed, the site of the school relative to Jim Thorpe PA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Jim Thorpe PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Jim Thorpe PA school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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 internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Jim Thorpe PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Jim Thorpe PA area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Jim Thorpe PA area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Jim Thorpe 18229
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Jim Thorpe PA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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