How to Find the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Montevallo Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Montevallo AL that will deliver the right training. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition 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 extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take 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 duties that they complete in the Montevallo AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees 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
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Montevallo AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Montevallo AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain 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, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Montevallo AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Montevallo AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Montevallo AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Montevallo 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Montevallo AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Montevallo AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Montevallo Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Montevallo AL.