How to Find the Right LPN School in Pittsfield Maine
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Pittsfield ME that will furnish the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Pittsfield ME health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Pittsfield ME health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Maine that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Pittsfield ME, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pittsfield ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly 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.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pittsfield ME area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Pittsfield ME area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Pittsfield ME along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Pittsfield ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Maine schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Pittsfield ME school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pittsfield 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Pittsfield ME area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Maine require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Pittsfield ME area.
Choose the Right LPN School Pittsfield 04967
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Pittsfield ME.
Why Did You Desire to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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