How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN School near Lanett Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lanett AL that will deliver the proper instruction. 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more 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 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 duties that they accomplish in the Lanett AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Lanett AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Lanett AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Lanett AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Lanett AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Lanett AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 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 evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 local Lanett AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lanett AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lanett AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Lanett Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Lanett AL.