How to Find the Right LPN College in West Tisbury Massachusetts
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in West Tisbury MA that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more 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 take a look at the role 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 many duties that they complete in the West Tisbury MA healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the West Tisbury MA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Massachusetts that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Tisbury MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on 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 West Tisbury MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the West Tisbury MA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some West Tisbury MA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to West Tisbury MA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points 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 other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the West Tisbury MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the West Tisbury MA school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby West Tisbury MA 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 programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the West Tisbury MA area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the West Tisbury MA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree West Tisbury 02575
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in West Tisbury MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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