How to Find the Best LPN or LVN College near Hoover Alabama
Now that you have chosen 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 furnish the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Hoover AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 attests that the course of study 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
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Hoover AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning 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 crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hoover AL.