How to Find the Right LPN Program in Levittown Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Levittown PA that will deliver the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, 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 responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, 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 too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Levittown PA health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the Levittown PA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic 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 period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 type 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Levittown PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on 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 Levittown PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 2 year program after receiving 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 attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Levittown PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain 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 contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Levittown PA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary 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 Levittown PA and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors 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 measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Levittown PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Levittown PA school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Levittown 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 finish 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Levittown PA area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Levittown PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Levittown 19054
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Levittown PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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