How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Fort Payne Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Fort Payne AL that will deliver the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition 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 extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover 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 a number of tasks that they carry out in the Fort Payne AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Fort Payne AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Fort Payne AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, 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 generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Fort Payne AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as 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 no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Fort Payne AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors 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 see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Fort Payne AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a specified 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Fort Payne 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Fort Payne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fort Payne AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Fort Payne Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed 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 healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Fort Payne AL.