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How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Course near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama LVN with senior female patientOnce you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Dothan AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 healthcare 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 look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more 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 to start with, let's have 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?

Dothan Alabama LVN meeting patient with crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Dothan AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:

    • Checking vital signs
    • Giving medicines
    • Setting up IV drips
    • Overseeing patients
    • Getting blood or urine samples
    • Managing patient records
    • Helping doctors or RNs with procedures

Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Dothan AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Training

There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Dothan AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

LPN and LVN Online Schools

Dothan Alabama LPN with elderly male assisted living patientAttending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Dothan AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities 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.

Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs

Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Dothan AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
 
  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Dothan AL.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Dothan 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Dothan AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Dothan AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Dothan LVN or LPN Nursing Schools

Choose the Right Dothan Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program

Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final 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 Dothan AL.



 

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