How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN College near Clay Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Clay AL that will deliver the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a 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 a number of functions that they complete in the Clay AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Clay AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Clay AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately 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 popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Clay AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow 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 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Clay 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Clay 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 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 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 Clay AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Clay AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Clay Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Clay AL.