Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Albertville Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Albertville AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job functions. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. 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 program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Albertville AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Albertville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Albertville AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more favored way to get 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 almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Albertville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Albertville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Albertville AL 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm 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 attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Albertville LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Albertville Alabama.