Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Mountain Brook AL that will furnish the appropriate education. Texas or California students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Mountain Brook AL medical 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 supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Mountain Brook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Mountain Brook AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Mountain Brook AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Mountain Brook AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Mountain Brook AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Mountain Brook 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Mountain Brook AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Mountain Brook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Mountain Brook LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Mountain Brook Alabama.