Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Select the Best One Near Selma Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near Selma AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job duties. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Selma AL health care facilities where they work. 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 usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Selma AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Selma AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain 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 readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 local Selma 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Selma AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Selma LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Selma Alabama.