How to Pick an LPN Training in Ardmore Pennsylvania
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Ardmore PA that will provide the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 as well. There are additional 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 education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Ardmore PA health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the Ardmore PA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ardmore PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ardmore PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring 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 obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ardmore PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the education 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Ardmore PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Ardmore PA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, 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 as well as the Ardmore PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Pennsylvania 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) along 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 important that the Ardmore PA school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Ardmore PA 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Ardmore PA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Ardmore PA area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Ardmore 19003
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Ardmore PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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