Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find 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 find and enroll in the right LPN program near Selma AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding vocation of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job duties. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. Most new students begin by looking for schools that are within driving 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 location and cost 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about 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.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Selma AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic 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 one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain 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 supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once 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 use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Selma AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific 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 satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Selma 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Selma LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Selma Alabama.