How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near East Florence Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near East Florence AL that will deliver the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective 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 job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the East Florence AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other East Florence AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near East Florence AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in East Florence AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost 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 prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near East Florence AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specified 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 preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby East Florence 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local East Florence AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best East Florence Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in East Florence AL.