How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Oxford Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Oxford AL that will furnish the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's 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 duties that they perform in the Oxford AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Oxford AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Oxford AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, 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, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively 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 growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oxford AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed 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 free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work 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 busy 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 online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Oxford AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Oxford AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Oxford 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Oxford AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Oxford AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Oxford Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Oxford AL.