How to Find the Right LPN College in Somerville New Jersey
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Somerville NJ that will provide the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role 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 many different duties that they carry out in the Somerville 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 responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical care 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 job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Somerville NJ health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available in New Jersey that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Somerville NJ, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Somerville NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Somerville NJ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training course 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Somerville NJ area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Somerville NJ along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Somerville NJ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited New Jersey schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Somerville NJ school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Somerville NJ 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Somerville NJ area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in New Jersey require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Somerville NJ area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Somerville 08876
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Somerville NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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