How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN School near Foley Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Foley AL that will deliver the proper 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating 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 cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they accomplish in the Foley AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, 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 generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Foley AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Foley AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain 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, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Foley AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active 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 online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Foley AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Foley AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Foley 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Foley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Foley AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Foley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Foley AL.