Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Talladega Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Talladega AL that will help you enter the rewarding field of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job functions. However, as we will discuss in this report, their routine job functions can differ based on the state where they are employed. Most new students start searching for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Talladega AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance 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 in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Talladega AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Talladega AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the core curriculum 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Talladega AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Talladega AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Talladega AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 speak with some nearby Talladega 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Talladega AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Talladega AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Talladega LPN or LVN School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Talladega Alabama.