How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Midfield Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Midfield AL that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Midfield AL health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction 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. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Midfield AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further 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 Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Midfield AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively 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 programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Midfield AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Midfield AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Midfield AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Midfield 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Midfield AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Midfield AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Midfield Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Midfield AL.