Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Find the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Auburn AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the titles, there is no difference 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 routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Most new students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Auburn AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each 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 job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Auburn AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Auburn AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 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 course of study effectively 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 growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Auburn AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many 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 select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Auburn AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship 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 School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 Auburn Alabama.