Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Princeton Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Princeton AL that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. Both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job activities can vary based on the state where they are employed. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, 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 additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the job 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 a number of functions that they accomplish in the Princeton AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every 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
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Princeton AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Princeton AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Princeton AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Princeton AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Princeton AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary 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. Certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online 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. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Princeton 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Princeton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Princeton AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Princeton LPN or LVN School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Princeton Alabama.