How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Training near Attalla Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Attalla AL that will provide the right 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones 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 decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective 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 job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they accomplish in the Attalla AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example 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 regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Attalla AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Attalla AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 attests 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 Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Attalla AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Attalla AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Attalla AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some nearby Attalla 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Attalla AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Attalla AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Attalla Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Attalla AL.