How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Fort Payne Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Fort Payne AL that will furnish the necessary 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, 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional 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 take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Fort Payne AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Fort Payne AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Fort Payne AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Fort Payne AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fort Payne AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Fort Payne AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Fort Payne 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Fort Payne AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Fort Payne Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Fort Payne AL.