How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Harvest Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Harvest AL that will deliver the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have 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 different tasks that they perform in the Harvest AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Harvest AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Harvest AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 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 Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Harvest AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Harvest AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Harvest 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Harvest AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Harvest AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Harvest AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Harvest Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Harvest AL.