Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near East Florence AL that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform the same job functions. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. Many nursing candidates begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role 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 many functions that they accomplish in the East Florence AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other East Florence AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near East Florence AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in East Florence AL. Certain 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 center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near East Florence AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near East Florence AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby East Florence 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 schools 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 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 good reputation within the East Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local East Florence AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best East Florence LPN or LVN Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 East Florence Alabama.