How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Course near East Florence Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near East Florence AL that will furnish the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake 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 cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the East Florence AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other East Florence AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near East Florence AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should 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 syllabus effectively 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 Schools
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in East Florence AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific 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 convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near East Florence AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near East Florence 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. Some states require a certain 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby East Florence 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local East Florence AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right East Florence Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables 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 excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in East Florence AL.