How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Brewton Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Brewton AL that will furnish the right 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Brewton AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Brewton AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Brewton AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Brewton AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number 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 approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps 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, 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 no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Brewton AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Brewton AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Brewton 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Brewton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Brewton AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Brewton Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Brewton AL.