Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Choose the Right One Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN college near Tuscaloosa AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding profession of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both practice in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. Many nursing candidates start searching for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. Even though tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Tuscaloosa AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Tuscaloosa AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Tuscaloosa AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Tuscaloosa 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 completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Tuscaloosa AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Tuscaloosa AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Tuscaloosa 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Tuscaloosa AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Tuscaloosa LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Tuscaloosa Alabama.