How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Course near Chickasaw Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Chickasaw AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However 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 start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 accomplish in the Chickasaw AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated 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 guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Chickasaw AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Chickasaw AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Chickasaw AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for 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 method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Chickasaw AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Chickasaw 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online 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 also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Chickasaw 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Chickasaw AL healthcare 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Chickasaw AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Chickasaw Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Chickasaw AL.