Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Select the Right One Near Alexander City 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 program near Alexander City AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. California or Texas residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. Both work in medical facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job functions. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Alexander City AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Alexander City AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Alexander City AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Alexander City AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Alexander City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose 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 take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Alexander City 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Alexander City AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Alexander City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Alexander City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Alexander City LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical 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 utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Alexander City Alabama.