How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Chelsea Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Chelsea AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside 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. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they carry out in the Chelsea AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Chelsea 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, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Chelsea AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 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 Online Programs
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chelsea AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Chelsea AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things 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 pick measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Chelsea AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important 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 relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chelsea AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Chelsea Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Chelsea AL.