Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Northport Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Northport AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding field of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job activities can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Most 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 credentials that a school must have and a decision 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Northport AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. 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 usually 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. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Northport AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Northport AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 in demand way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Northport AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Northport AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Northport AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Northport 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Northport AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Northport AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Northport LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Northport Alabama.