How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Opp Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Opp AL that will furnish the proper education. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Opp AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Opp AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Opp AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Opp AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active 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 web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Opp 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Opp AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Opp 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 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 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 good reputation within the Opp AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Opp AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Opp Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Opp AL.