Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Daphne Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Daphne AL that will provide the proper instruction. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in medical facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job duties. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. Many new students begin by looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are other qualifications that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Daphne AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Daphne AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Daphne AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Daphne AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And 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 training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Daphne AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Daphne AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Daphne 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Daphne AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Daphne AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Daphne LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you enroll in 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 develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Daphne Alabama.