How to Choose an LPN College in Dracut Massachusetts
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Dracut MA that will provide 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 difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address 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 tasks that they complete in the Dracut MA healthcare 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 responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the Dracut MA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Massachusetts that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, 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 commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Dracut MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dracut MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve 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 eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dracut MA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some Dracut MA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Dracut MA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 Dracut MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Dracut MA school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Dracut 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Dracut MA 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Dracut MA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Dracut 01826
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Dracut MA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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