How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Classes near Millbrook Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Millbrook AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, 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 duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant 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 very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Millbrook AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Millbrook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Millbrook AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Millbrook AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic 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 online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Millbrook AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Millbrook AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Millbrook 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Millbrook AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Millbrook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Millbrook Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 an LPN or LVN in Millbrook AL.