How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN College near Clanton Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Clanton AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Clanton AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Clanton AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Clanton AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, 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 option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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. 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Clanton AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Clanton AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Clanton AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Clanton AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Clanton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Clanton AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Clanton Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Clanton AL.