How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Oneonta Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Oneonta AL that will provide the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional 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 function 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 different tasks that they accomplish in the Oneonta AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every 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 job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the health 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, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Oneonta AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Oneonta AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Oneonta AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Oneonta AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Oneonta AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Oneonta AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Oneonta Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Oneonta AL.