How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Oneonta Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Oneonta AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important factors, 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Oneonta AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Oneonta AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Oneonta AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oneonta AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Oneonta AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Oneonta AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 Oneonta AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Oneonta AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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 local Oneonta AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Oneonta Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Oneonta AL.