How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Anniston 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) program near Anniston AL that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address 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. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Anniston AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Anniston AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Anniston AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 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 alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Anniston AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, 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 necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Anniston AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Anniston AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Anniston AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Anniston AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Anniston Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Anniston AL.