Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Find the Right One Near Saraland Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Saraland AL that will provide the necessary education. Texas or California students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are significant points to consider, 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Saraland AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, 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 oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance 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 everyday job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Saraland AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Saraland AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum properly 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 growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Saraland AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Saraland AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Saraland 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Saraland 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Saraland AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Saraland AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Saraland LPN or LVN School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final 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 Saraland Alabama.