How to Pick an LPN College in Plymouth Meeting Pennsylvania
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Plymouth Meeting PA that will furnish the appropriate training. 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Plymouth Meeting PA health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Plymouth Meeting 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 work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered in Pennsylvania that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Plymouth Meeting PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Plymouth Meeting PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Plymouth Meeting PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Plymouth Meeting PA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Plymouth Meeting PA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Plymouth Meeting PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Plymouth Meeting PA school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Plymouth Meeting 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 considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential 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 relationships in the Plymouth Meeting PA area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Plymouth Meeting PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Plymouth Meeting 19462
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 Plymouth Meeting PA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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