Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Mobile Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN school near Mobile AL that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job functions. However, as we will cover in this report, their routine job activities can vary based on the state where they are practicing. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective 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 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 different duties that they carry out in the Mobile AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find 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 daily work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Mobile AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Mobile AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Mobile AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments 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
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 no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Mobile 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 manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Mobile AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs differ 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 specified 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mobile 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mobile AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Mobile AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Mobile LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Mobile Alabama.