How to Choose an LPN Training in Portland 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) program in Portland ME that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart 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. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Portland ME medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the Portland ME health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in Maine that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Portland ME, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Portland 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 such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance 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 provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Portland ME area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Maine to make sure that the training 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Portland ME area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 obligations 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Portland ME as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Portland ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing 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, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Portland ME school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Portland 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Portland ME area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Portland ME area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Portland 04101
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college 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 produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Portland ME.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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