How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Meridianville Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Meridianville AL that will furnish the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they perform in the Meridianville AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Meridianville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Meridianville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 effectively 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 emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Meridianville AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What 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 online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Meridianville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Meridianville 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) 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each 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 Meridianville 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Meridianville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Meridianville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Meridianville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Meridianville AL.