How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Bessemer Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Bessemer AL that will furnish the necessary training. If you live 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ 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 nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Bessemer AL health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing 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 diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Bessemer AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Bessemer AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Bessemer AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Bessemer AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Bessemer AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Bessemer AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bessemer AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Bessemer AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Bessemer Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select 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 an LPN or LVN in Bessemer AL.