How to Find the Right LPN Program in Roslindale Massachusetts
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Roslindale MA that will provide the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job 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 a number of duties that they accomplish in the Roslindale MA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the Roslindale MA health 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, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Massachusetts that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually 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 kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Roslindale MA, and that most 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Roslindale MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike 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 Roslindale MA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 Massachusetts 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Roslindale MA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Roslindale MA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Roslindale MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Roslindale MA school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Roslindale 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Roslindale MA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Roslindale MA area.
Select the Right LPN Program Roslindale 02131
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Roslindale MA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Massachusetts That You Might Be Interested In