How to Pick an LPN School in Croydon Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Croydon PA that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other 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 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 many different functions that they accomplish in the Croydon PA health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the Croydon PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Croydon PA, and that most 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Croydon PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Croydon PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Croydon PA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Croydon PA as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Croydon PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Croydon PA school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Croydon PA 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 schools you are looking at 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Croydon PA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Croydon PA area.
Choose the Right LPN Training Croydon 19021
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Croydon PA.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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