How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Atmore Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Atmore AL that will furnish the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision 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 starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional 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 to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Atmore AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, 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 usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Atmore AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Atmore AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Atmore AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps 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 web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Atmore AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Atmore AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Atmore 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 Atmore AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Atmore AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Atmore Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Atmore AL.