How to Choose an LPN College in Annandale New Jersey
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Annandale NJ that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Annandale NJ health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New Jersey. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the Annandale NJ medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available in New Jersey that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Annandale NJ, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Annandale NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving 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 attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Annandale NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires 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 programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Annandale NJ area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Annandale NJ along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Annandale NJ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited New Jersey schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Annandale NJ school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Annandale NJ 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Annandale NJ area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in New Jersey require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Annandale NJ area.
Select the Right LPN Degree Annandale 08801
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Annandale NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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