Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Best One Near Hartselle Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN school near Hartselle AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. Many new students begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. Even though tuition and location are relevant factors, 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Hartselle AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Hartselle AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Hartselle AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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 schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Hartselle AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hartselle AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Hartselle AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hartselle 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Hartselle AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Hartselle AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Hartselle LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hartselle Alabama.