Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Albertville Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Albertville AL that will deliver the proper instruction. California or Texas students will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job functions. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. But there are other credentials that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, which are both extremely important as well. There are additional 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 have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Albertville AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each 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 can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Albertville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Albertville AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Albertville AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Albertville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 or degree program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Albertville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs 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. Some states require a certain 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Albertville AL 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 or LVN 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 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 Albertville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Albertville LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Albertville Alabama.