How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Orange Beach Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Orange Beach AL that will provide the necessary 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, except for 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 functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant factors, 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 very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Orange Beach AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Orange Beach AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Orange Beach AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Orange Beach AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so 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 more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Orange Beach AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Orange Beach 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides 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. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Orange Beach 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 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 Orange Beach AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Orange Beach AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Orange Beach Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Orange Beach AL.