How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training near Attalla Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Attalla AL that will provide the necessary 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, 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 a number of functions that they perform in the Attalla AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Attalla AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Attalla AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Attalla AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward 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 SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Attalla AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Attalla AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Attalla AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Attalla AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Attalla Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Attalla AL.