How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Program near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Auburn 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's 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 numerous functions that they complete in the Auburn AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. 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 job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Auburn AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Auburn AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Auburn AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 undoubtedly realize, 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Auburn 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local 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
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Auburn AL.