Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Gardendale Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Gardendale AL that will help you enter the rewarding vocation of nursing. California or Texas 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 work in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job duties. However, as we will cover in this report, their daily job activities can differ based on the state where they are employed. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Gardendale AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance 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 attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Gardendale AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Gardendale AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Gardendale AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Gardendale AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Gardendale AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Gardendale 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gardendale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Gardendale AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Gardendale LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Gardendale Alabama.