Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Vestavia Hills 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 school near Vestavia Hills AL that will help you enter 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. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. Most nursing candidates start looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are various other 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 first, let's look at the job 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 numerous tasks that they complete in the Vestavia Hills AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Vestavia Hills AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties 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 Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Vestavia Hills AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Vestavia Hills AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Vestavia Hills AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Vestavia Hills 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) along with 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Vestavia Hills 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 dissatisfied 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 Vestavia Hills AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Vestavia Hills AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Vestavia Hills LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Vestavia Hills Alabama.