How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Harvest Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Harvest AL that will provide the necessary 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, other than 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 tasks that they accomplish in the Harvest AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Harvest AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Harvest AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Harvest AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start 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 lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Harvest AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Harvest 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 finish 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 Harvest AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Harvest AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Harvest Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Harvest AL.