How to Pick an LPN College in Freeport Maine
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Freeport ME that will provide the necessary 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, except for 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. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant considerations, 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 very important also. There are various other 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 have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Freeport ME health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically 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. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the Freeport ME health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Maine that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Freeport ME, and that most 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Freeport ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Maine community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Freeport ME area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Freeport ME area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Freeport ME as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 as well as the Freeport ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Maine schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Freeport 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 working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Freeport ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Freeport ME area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Maine require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Freeport ME area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Freeport 04032
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Freeport ME.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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