How to Choose an LPN School in Meriden Connecticut
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Meriden CT that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Meriden CT medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Connecticut. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Meriden CT medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations available in Connecticut that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Meriden CT, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Meriden CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Connecticut 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Meriden CT area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training 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 Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some Meriden CT area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Meriden CT along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the Meriden CT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) 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 Meriden CT school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Meriden CT 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 schools you are looking at 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 Meriden CT area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Meriden CT area.
Pick the Right LPN School Meriden 06450
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic 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 outstanding 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Meriden CT.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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