How to Find the Right LPN College in Smoketown Pennsylvania
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Smoketown PA that will deliver the right education. If you live 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 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 cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more 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 to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Smoketown PA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the Smoketown PA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further 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.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Smoketown PA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Smoketown PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps 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 later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Smoketown PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Smoketown PA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with 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 hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Smoketown PA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Smoketown PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Smoketown PA school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Smoketown 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Smoketown PA area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Smoketown PA area.
Pick the Right LPN School Smoketown 17576
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Smoketown PA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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