Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Select the Best One Near Ozark Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Ozark AL that will deliver the proper education. California or Texas students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover 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 education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Ozark AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Ozark AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Ozark AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Ozark AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Ozark AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Ozark AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies 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. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Ozark 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Ozark AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Ozark AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Ozark LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Ozark Alabama.