How to Choose an LPN College in Cliffwood New Jersey
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Cliffwood NJ that will furnish the necessary instruction. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Cliffwood NJ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including New Jersey. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Cliffwood NJ health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in New Jersey that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain 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 comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Cliffwood NJ, 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 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 Cliffwood NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cliffwood NJ area. The length of the training 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many Cliffwood NJ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Cliffwood NJ along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Cliffwood NJ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited New Jersey schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cliffwood NJ school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Cliffwood 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 colleges you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Cliffwood NJ area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in New Jersey require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Cliffwood NJ area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Cliffwood 07721
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Cliffwood NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional 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 several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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