How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Training near Hueytown Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Hueytown AL that will furnish the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Hueytown AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Hueytown AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Hueytown AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the core curriculum properly 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 programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hueytown AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Hueytown AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Hueytown AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hueytown 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 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 favorable reputation within the Hueytown AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Hueytown AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Hueytown Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hueytown AL.