Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Find the Best One Near Fairhope Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Fairhope AL that will furnish the appropriate instruction. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job functions. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. But there are additional credentials that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Fairhope AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight 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. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Fairhope AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further 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.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Fairhope AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Fairhope AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fairhope AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Fairhope AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies 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, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Fairhope AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Fairhope AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. Check if the schools have associations with local Fairhope AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Fairhope LPN or LVN School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Fairhope Alabama.