How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training near Albertville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Albertville AL that will furnish the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more 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 to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Albertville AL health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical care 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 routine job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Albertville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally 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 ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Albertville AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Albertville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Albertville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Albertville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Albertville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Albertville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Albertville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you enroll in 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 create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Albertville AL.