Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Calera Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Calera AL that will furnish the proper instruction. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in medical facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their routine job functions can differ depending on the state where they are practicing. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they perform in the Calera AL health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Calera AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Calera AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the course of study adequately 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Calera AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Calera AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Calera AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding 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 companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Calera 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Calera AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Calera AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Calera LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Calera Alabama.