Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Select the Best One Near Homewood Alabama
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Homewood 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job functions can vary based on the state where they are practicing. Many new students start looking 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 additional qualifications that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Homewood AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction 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 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 may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Homewood AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Homewood AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative 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 finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Homewood AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Homewood AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important 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 probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm 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 Homewood AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Homewood 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Homewood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Homewood AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Homewood LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Homewood Alabama.