How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN College near Clanton Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Clanton AL that will provide the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Clanton AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Clanton AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Clanton AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Clanton AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Clanton AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Clanton AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies 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 contact some local Clanton 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Clanton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Clanton AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Clanton Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Clanton AL.