How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Demopolis Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Demopolis AL that will furnish 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's 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 numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Demopolis AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Demopolis AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Demopolis AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Demopolis AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. 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 school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use 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 Demopolis AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Demopolis 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 local Demopolis 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Demopolis AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Demopolis AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Demopolis Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Demopolis AL.