How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Hoover Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Hoover AL that will deliver the right education. 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover 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. While price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Hoover AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Hoover AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Hoover AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Hoover 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Hoover Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 an LPN or LVN in Hoover AL.