How to Enroll In the Best LPN School near South Portland Maine
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near South Portland ME that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care 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 talk about in the following segment. When beginning 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. While price and location are significant 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 extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the South Portland ME medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Maine. Even though 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other South Portland ME healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near South Portland ME. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in South Portland ME. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near South Portland ME as well as within Maine and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near South Portland ME.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby South Portland ME 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the South Portland ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby South Portland ME community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Accredited Local LVN Programs South Portland Maine
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Accredited Local LVN Programs and wanting to get more information on the topic Licensed Practical Nurse Education. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in South Portland ME.
More Nursing Locations in Maine
South Portland, Maine
South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state, incorporated in 1898. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Due to South Portland's close proximity to air, marine, rail, and highway transportation options, the city has become a center for retail and industry in the region.
Despite the name, South Portland was never part of the city of Portland, but rather part of Cape Elizabeth. It broke off in 1895. However, both Cape Elizabeth and Portland were once part of Falmouth. Cape Elizabeth, then including what later became South Portland, broke away from Falmouth in 1765. South Portland is a principal city of the Portland – South Portland – Biddeford metropolitan area.
South Portland was first settled in 1630, and it grew to become a small residential community with many farms. The village was raided by natives in Father Rale's War (1724). In 1858, the City of Portland purchased land near the Fore River for the Forest City Cemetery. On March 15, 1895, it was incorporated as a town after it broke away from Cape Elizabeth, based on a disagreement on a future source of public drinking water. Three years later South Portland became a city, destined to receive its drinking water, like Portland, from Sebago Lake, while Cape Elizabeth used wells or other local sources.