How to Select an LPN College in Edgewood Maryland
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Edgewood MD that will deliver the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Edgewood MD medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maryland. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Edgewood MD healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Maryland that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Edgewood MD, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Edgewood MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly 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.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Edgewood MD area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Edgewood MD area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Edgewood MD along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Edgewood MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Maryland 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Edgewood MD school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Maryland school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Edgewood MD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Edgewood MD area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Maryland require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Edgewood MD area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Edgewood 21040
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Edgewood MD.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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