How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Training near Brook Highland Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Brook Highland AL that will furnish the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Brook Highland AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Brook Highland AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, 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 basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Brook Highland AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Brook Highland AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy 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 use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Brook Highland AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Brook Highland AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Brook Highland 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Brook Highland AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Brook Highland AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Brook Highland Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Brook Highland AL.