How to Select the Best LPN College near Watertown Massachusetts
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Watertown MA that will furnish the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Watertown MA health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Watertown MA healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Watertown MA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Watertown MA. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little 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.
Things to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Watertown MA as well as within Massachusetts and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Watertown MA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at 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 too. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Watertown MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Watertown MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Watertown MA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online LPN Degrees Watertown Massachusetts
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online LPN Degrees and wanting to get more information on the topic Fast Track LPN Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Watertown MA.
More Nursing Locations in Massachusetts
Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and is part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 31,915 in the 2010 census. Its neighborhoods include Bemis, Coolidge Square, East Watertown, Watertown Square, and the West End. It is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that retain the title of “town” while functioning under state law as cities.
Watertown was one of the first Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements organized by English Puritans in 1630. The city is home to the Perkins School for the Blind, the Armenian Library and Museum of America, and the historic Watertown Arsenal, which produced military armaments from 1816 through World War II.
Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England. Two tribes of Massachusett, the Pequossette and the Nonantum, had settlements on the banks of the river later called the Charles. The Pequossette built a fishing weir to trap herring at the site of the current Watertown Dam. The annual fish migration, as both alewife and blueback herring swim upstream from their adult home in the sea to spawn in the fresh water where they were hatched, still occurs every spring.
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