Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Hoover Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Hoover AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. Many new students start looking for schools that are close to 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 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role 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 a number of tasks that they perform in the Hoover AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic 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 web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hoover AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Hoover 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all 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 Hoover 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 considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Hoover LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Hoover Alabama.