Also known as the “Old Line State”, Maryland is one of the most densely populated states in the US. Home to over 5,000,000 people, Maryland has many diverse industries where healthcare sector plays a critical role. According to recent studies, the healthcare industry is expected to expand over the next few years. Baltimore Business Journal has reported that the state will add approximately 75,000 healthcare jobs by 2020.This reflects a growth of 23%, which is faster than average.
Individuals who are seeking a career-path with a positive employment outlook can consider joining the healthcare industry in this state. The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board released a report that reflects growing healthcare trends and demand for healthcare professionals. Maryland’s ageing population and integration of technology are leading factors that have pushed the need for better healthcare services.
Healthcare and Nursing Education in Maryland
With the ever-increasing demand for healthcare professionals in Maryland, thousands of students are seeking higher education in this field. The state is home to a number of well-known colleges and universities. Maryland Higher Education Commission is the main department that is responsible for regulating policies and laws for all educational institutes in the state. All schools must adhere to laws and provide educational services that meet quality standards.
Accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider when enrolling in a college. There are many regional agencies that are authorized by the Higher Education Commission to accredit schools. Accreditation basically reflects a school’s compliance with quality standards, rules, and relevant polices. In the state of Maryland, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools is responsible for accrediting institutes.
Students who plan to join the healthcare sector as a nurse can choose from a wide range of nursing programs. These include:
Licensed practical nurse (LPN) degree
Registered Nurse (RN) degree
Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree
Master of Science (MSN) degree
LPN programs in Maryland
LPN Programs in Maryland
A licensed practical nurse program is the most basic nursing degree program available. There are many nursing schools in Maryland that offer LPN degree programs to students. This program is designed to prepare students for basic nursing careers in healthcare.
Students enrolled in an LPN program will acquire basic nursing skills and knowledge. The program is designed to equip students with everything they need to know about becoming a nurse. The coursework may vary a little from college to college. However, the curriculum will include general topics that cover every aspect of nursing in detail. Students will study important topics such as the following:
Fundamentals of Nursing
This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge on the basic practice of nursing. Students will examine the role of nurses in today’s competitive field, and how the practice of nursing plays a critical role.
Anatomy and Physiology
This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the functions of the human body, cells, tissues, and organ systems. Students will also develop a strong medical terminology.
Growth and Development
In this course, students will learn about the different stages of development. The course will cover important topics related to development. These includes: developmental patterns, personality development, social and cultural aspects.
This course will introduce students to the basics of pharmacology. Important topics covered are: drugs and solutions, legal responsibilities, side effects of drugs, and medicine administration.
Medical Surgical Nursing
This is one of the most important courses covered in LPN programs. It is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of chronic, acute, and congenital diseases. Students will learn about the many symptoms of diseases and surgical nursing.
Maternal and Child Health Nursing
This course will examine childrearing phases and normal processes for childbearing. The main emphasis is upon various stages of child-development and growth.
Training and Skill Development
In LPN programs, students will spend a great deal of time in laboratories and simulated environments. This part of the program is geared towards skill development. Students will learn how to practically apply nursing principles and carry out various clinical procedures. The availability of learning labs will depend upon the school chosen. Some schools may also offer internship programs as a part of the degree.
Objectives of LPN Degrees
Students enrolled in LPN programs will develop a strong conceptual framework as well as practical skills. By the end of the program, students will be able to:
Identify and analyze different nursing processes
Plan and execute healthcare plans for patients
Diagnose various diseases and refer to physicians
Monitor and assess a patient’s vital signs
Administer medication according to the physicians prescription
Practice nursing within the legal and ethical framework
An LPN program can typically be completed in 12-18 months depending upon the school you enroll in. It is also possible to enroll in an accelerated LPN degree which can take less than the regular time to complete. You can get information about the duration of an LPN program by contacting the prospective nursing school.
To enroll in an LPN program, individuals must fulfill the basic admission requirements. These may vary slightly from school to school. Generally, students will be required to complete the prerequisite courses which include physiology, anatomy, and microbiology. Apart from this, all students must have successfully cleared their high school education with a satisfactory CGPA.
An LPN degree will not directly qualify one for practicing nursing. Individuals who have completed this degree must take the state’s licensing examination. This exam is known as the NCLEX exam, and is conducted by the Maryland Board of Nursing.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), there were over 11,000 employed LPNs in the state of Maryland. The demand for LPNs is expected to increase throughout the state. These nursing professionals can seek employment in all kinds of healthcare institutes such as clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. The annual median wage for these nurses was $50,880 in 2013. It is important to remember that the exact salary figure can only be determined by considering factors such as employer organization, experience, skill, and specialization. As the healthcare industry is growing at a stable rate, the career opportunities for LPNs are expected to increase.