How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Chickasaw Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Chickasaw AL that will provide 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more 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 first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Chickasaw AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, 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 usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Chickasaw AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Chickasaw AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Chickasaw AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Chickasaw AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Chickasaw AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Chickasaw 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chickasaw AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Chickasaw AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Chickasaw Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Chickasaw AL.