How to Select an LPN College in Boylston Massachusetts
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Boylston MA that will furnish the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important 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 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Boylston MA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the Boylston MA health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Massachusetts that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with 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 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Boylston MA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Boylston MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Massachusetts 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some 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 Boylston MA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Boylston MA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Boylston MA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the Boylston MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along 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 Boylston MA school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Boylston MA 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Boylston MA area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Boylston MA area.
Select the Right LPN College Boylston 01505
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college 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 create a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Boylston MA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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