How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Phenix City AL that will furnish 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 difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function 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 tasks that they complete in the Phenix City AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Phenix City AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous 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 Phenix City AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately 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
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Phenix City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Phenix City 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Phenix City AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Phenix City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Phenix City Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Phenix City AL.