How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Guntersville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Guntersville AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Guntersville AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Guntersville 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.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Guntersville AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Guntersville AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Guntersville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Guntersville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Guntersville 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Guntersville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Guntersville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Guntersville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Guntersville AL.