How to Choose an LPN School in Palmyra Pennsylvania
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Palmyra PA 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, 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 Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Palmyra PA healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the Palmyra PA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic 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 period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Palmyra PA, 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Palmyra PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining 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 received 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Palmyra PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course 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.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Palmyra PA area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Palmyra PA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Palmyra PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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 important that the Palmyra PA school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Palmyra 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 programs 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 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 favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Palmyra PA area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Palmyra PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Palmyra 17078
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Palmyra PA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Pennsylvania That You Might Be Interested In