How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Meadowbrook Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Meadowbrook AL that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss 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 does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Meadowbrook AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 in need of medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Meadowbrook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Meadowbrook AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 pursue, 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 syllabus 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 Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Meadowbrook AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Meadowbrook AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Meadowbrook AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important 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. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Meadowbrook 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 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 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 Meadowbrook AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Meadowbrook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Meadowbrook Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Meadowbrook AL.