Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Select the Right One Near Auburn Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Auburn AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. But there are other credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are additional 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 training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Auburn AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Auburn AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Auburn AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Auburn AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Auburn AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. 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 pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Auburn AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs differ 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. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 Auburn 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Auburn AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Auburn AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Auburn LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Auburn Alabama.