How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Daphne Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Daphne AL that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 duties that they complete in the Daphne AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees 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
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Daphne AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Daphne AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Daphne AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Daphne AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Daphne AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Daphne AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Daphne AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Daphne AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Daphne Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Daphne AL.