How to Choose an LPN College in Slippery Rock Pennsylvania
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Slippery Rock PA that will deliver the appropriate training. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other 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 take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Slippery Rock PA healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Slippery Rock PA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 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 warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Slippery Rock PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Slippery Rock PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Slippery Rock PA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state certified. 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.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Slippery Rock PA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So 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 easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Slippery Rock PA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 Slippery Rock PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Slippery Rock PA school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Slippery Rock 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 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 Slippery Rock PA area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Slippery Rock PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Slippery Rock 16057
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Slippery Rock PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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