How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Anniston Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Anniston AL that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Anniston AL medical 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 managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment 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 can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Anniston 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, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Anniston AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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 kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Anniston AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest 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, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Anniston AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Anniston AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Anniston 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Anniston AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Anniston AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Anniston Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Anniston AL.