How to Select an LPN Program in Havertown Pennsylvania
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Havertown PA that will provide the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant 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 extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential 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 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 tasks that they carry out in the Havertown PA health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the Havertown PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option 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 kind 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Havertown 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Havertown PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Havertown PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Havertown PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Havertown PA along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Havertown PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Havertown PA school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Havertown 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Havertown PA area to help students gain employment.
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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Havertown PA area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Havertown 19083
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Havertown PA.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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