How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Meadowbrook Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Meadowbrook AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than 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. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Meadowbrook AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Meadowbrook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Meadowbrook AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 warrants 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
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Meadowbrook AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Meadowbrook AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards 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 agencies 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 contact some nearby Meadowbrook 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Meadowbrook AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Meadowbrook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Meadowbrook Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Meadowbrook AL.