How to Choose the Right LPN School near Smithfield Maine
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Smithfield ME that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about 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.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Smithfield ME health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Smithfield ME healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Smithfield ME. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Smithfield ME. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Smithfield ME as well as within Maine and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Smithfield ME.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) 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 school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Smithfield ME 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Smithfield ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Smithfield ME community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
LPN Vocational Schools Smithfield Maine
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step 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 contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Vocational Schools and wanting to get more information on the topic Accredited Online LPN Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Smithfield ME.
More Nursing Locations in Maine
Smithfield is a town in Somerset County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,033 at the 2010 census. The town was incorporated on February 29, 1840 making it the only town in Maine incorporated on Leap Day. The town was named after the Rev. Henry Smith, an early settler.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.76 square miles (64.13 km2), of which, 19.90 square miles (51.54 km2) of it is land and 4.86 square miles (12.59 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,033 people, 451 households, and 314 families residing in the town. The population density was 51.9 inhabitants per square mile (20.0/km2). There were 727 housing units at an average density of 36.5 per square mile (14.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.6% White, 0.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.