Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick 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 locate and enroll in the right LPN college near Talladega AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding vocation of nursing. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in health care facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. Although, as we will cover in this article, their routine job functions can vary based on the state where they are employed. Most new students start searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, 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 to start with, let's 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
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Talladega AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for monitoring 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, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Talladega AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Talladega AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 attests that the syllabus effectively 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 emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Talladega AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job 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.
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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Talladega AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Talladega 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Talladega AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship 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
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized 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 medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Talladega Alabama.