How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Clay Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Clay AL that will furnish the necessary 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective 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 instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Clay AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of 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 daily job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Clay AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include 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 Clay AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Clay AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number 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 convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little 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 online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Clay AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Clay 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 specified 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Clay 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 schools you are considering 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Clay AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Clay AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Clay Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Clay AL.