How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Montevallo Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Montevallo AL that will furnish the proper 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Montevallo AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Montevallo AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Montevallo AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Montevallo AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Montevallo 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 workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Montevallo AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 nearby Montevallo 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Montevallo AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Montevallo AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Montevallo Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Montevallo AL.