Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Hoover Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Hoover AL that will provide the appropriate training. California or Texas students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both practice in medical facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job activities can differ depending on the state where they are employed. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address 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 training and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they perform in the Hoover AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 type of credential you pursue, 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 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 Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Hoover AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Hoover AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Hoover LPN or LVN School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Hoover Alabama.