Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Alexander City Alabama
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Alexander City AL that will help you enter the gratifying vocation of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. Although, as we will cover in this report, their daily job functions can vary based on the state where they are employed. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job 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 functions that they carry out in the Alexander City AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Alexander City 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 example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Alexander City AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 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 programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Alexander City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Alexander City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Alexander City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. 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 Right Alexander City LPN or LVN School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Alexander City Alabama.