How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training near Fairhope Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Fairhope AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about 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 does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Fairhope AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required 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 healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Fairhope AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Fairhope AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, 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 alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Fairhope AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments 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 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 start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fairhope AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. 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 measures up to the other schools.
- 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 make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Fairhope 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 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. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Fairhope 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fairhope AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Fairhope AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Fairhope Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Fairhope AL.