How to Select an LPN Program in Westborough Massachusetts
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Westborough MA that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Westborough MA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance 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 assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being governed by each state, the Westborough MA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Massachusetts that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Westborough MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Westborough 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Westborough MA area. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the 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 training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Westborough MA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Westborough MA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 in addition to the Westborough MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to 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 Westborough MA school you are attending not only provides an excellent 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 services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Westborough MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Westborough MA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Westborough MA area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Westborough 01580
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Westborough MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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