How to Find the Right LPN School in Tamaqua Pennsylvania
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Tamaqua PA that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Tamaqua PA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Tamaqua PA health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available in Pennsylvania that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Tamaqua PA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tamaqua PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Tamaqua PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some Tamaqua PA area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Tamaqua PA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Tamaqua PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent 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, are different 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Tamaqua PA school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Tamaqua PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 Tamaqua PA area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Tamaqua PA area.
Choose the Right LPN School Tamaqua 18252
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical phase to beginning 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 contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Tamaqua PA.
Why Did You Desire to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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