Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Select the Best One Near Selma 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) program near Selma AL that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. Most nursing candidates start looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. Although cost and location are important 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 training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Selma AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Selma AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic 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 web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Selma 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) in addition to 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Selma AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Selma LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Selma Alabama.