How to Find the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Hoover Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Hoover AL that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from 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. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Hoover AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally 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. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice 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 training to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 seek, it should 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Hoover AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Hoover AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hoover 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 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 favorable reputation within the Hoover AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Hoover Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hoover AL.