How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Training Program near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Auburn AL that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform 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 look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as 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 training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take 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 carry out in the Auburn AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Auburn AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Auburn AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain 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 comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Auburn AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce 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 start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Auburn AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Auburn AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Auburn 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 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 superb reputation within the Auburn AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Auburn AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Auburn Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Auburn AL.