How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Daleville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Daleville AL that will furnish the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address 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 is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Daleville AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Daleville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Daleville AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Daleville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive 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 numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Daleville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. 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 pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Daleville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Daleville 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 looking at 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 Daleville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Daleville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Daleville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Daleville AL.