How to Find the Right LPN Program in Groton Connecticut
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Groton CT that will provide the appropriate 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional 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 take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Groton CT health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Connecticut. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being controlled by each state, the Groton CT health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available in Connecticut that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Groton CT, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Groton CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Connecticut 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 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he 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 contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Groton CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Groton CT area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Groton CT along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the Groton CT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Groton CT school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Groton CT 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 contacts in the Groton CT area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Connecticut require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates 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 Groton CT area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Groton 06340
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Groton CT.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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