Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Enterprise Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near Enterprise AL that will help you enter the rewarding profession of nursing. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job functions. However, as we will cover in this report, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. Many new students start searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are other credentials that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Enterprise AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, 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 typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Enterprise AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Enterprise AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Enterprise AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations 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.
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 online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Enterprise AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Enterprise AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Enterprise 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 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 good reputation within the Enterprise AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Enterprise AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Enterprise LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Enterprise Alabama.