Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Troy 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 program near Troy AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding vocation of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. Although, as we will cover in this report, their routine job functions can differ based on the state where they are practicing. Many nursing candidates begin by looking 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 relevant 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 course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the Troy AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Troy AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Troy AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Troy AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use 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 Troy AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Troy AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Troy 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Troy AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Troy AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Troy LPN or LVN School
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Troy Alabama.