How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Pell City Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Pell City AL that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important considerations, 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 too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's 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 many different duties that they perform in the Pell City AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for managing 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 diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. 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 everyday job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Pell City AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Pell City AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Pell City AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments 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 hectic schedule.
Questions 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 internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Pell City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Pell City AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ 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. Certain states require a certain 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 provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pell City 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Pell City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Pell City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Pell City Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Pell City AL.