How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Classes near Meadowbrook Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Meadowbrook AL that will furnish the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for 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 functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 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 is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Meadowbrook AL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance 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 encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health care 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, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Meadowbrook AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Meadowbrook AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Meadowbrook 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 nearby Meadowbrook 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 considering 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 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 favorable reputation within the Meadowbrook AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Meadowbrook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Meadowbrook Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Meadowbrook AL.