Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Birmingham AL that will provide the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important 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 training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role 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 many functions that they perform in the Birmingham AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Birmingham AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Birmingham AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 adequately 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 becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Birmingham AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active 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 internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Birmingham 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 already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Birmingham AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Birmingham 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Birmingham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Birmingham AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Birmingham LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Birmingham Alabama.