How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Chelsea Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Chelsea AL that will furnish the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Chelsea AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Chelsea AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Chelsea AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the syllabus 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 Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Chelsea AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Chelsea AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Chelsea 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Chelsea AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Chelsea AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chelsea AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Chelsea Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Chelsea AL.