How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Montgomery Alabama
Now that 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 Montgomery AL that will provide the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Montgomery AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Montgomery AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Montgomery AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 kind 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.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Montgomery AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Montgomery AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Montgomery AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Montgomery 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Montgomery AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Montgomery Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Montgomery AL.