How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training Program near Eufaula Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Eufaula AL that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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 look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, 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 program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Eufaula AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Eufaula AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Eufaula AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 core curriculum adequately 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 becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Eufaula AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Eufaula AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Eufaula AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Eufaula 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Eufaula AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Eufaula AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Eufaula Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Eufaula AL.