How to Pick an LPN School in Bowdoinham Maine
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Bowdoinham ME that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function 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 numerous tasks that they perform in the Bowdoinham ME health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the Bowdoinham ME health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in Maine that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive 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 instruction, are that they provide 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bowdoinham ME, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bowdoinham ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Maine community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bowdoinham ME area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Maine to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Bowdoinham ME area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Bowdoinham ME and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things 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 measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Bowdoinham ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Maine 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bowdoinham ME school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
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. Additionally, check with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bowdoinham ME 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 colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Bowdoinham ME area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Maine require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Bowdoinham ME area.
Pick the Right LPN Course Bowdoinham 04008
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Bowdoinham ME.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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