How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Course near Lincoln Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Lincoln AL that will deliver the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have 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 numerous functions that they perform in the Lincoln AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Lincoln AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Lincoln AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Lincoln AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Lincoln AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lincoln 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) 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online 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, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Lincoln 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 schools you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Lincoln AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Lincoln AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Lincoln Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Lincoln AL.