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How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Pike Road Alabama

Pike Road Alabama LVN with older woman patientNow that 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 Pike Road AL that will deliver the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.

What is an LPN or LVN?

Pike Road Alabama LPN greeting man on crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Pike Road AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:

    • Taking vital signs
    • Providing medicines
    • Initiating IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Keeping patient records
    • Helping doctors or RNs with procedures

In addition to their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Pike Road AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Courses

There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Pike Road AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 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 Schools Online

Pike Road Alabama LVN with older male assisted living residentAttending LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Pike Road AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Now 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Pike Road 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 discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Pike Road AL.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pike Road 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 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 favorable reputation within the Pike Road AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Pike Road AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Pike Road LVN or LPN Training

Choose the Right Pike Road Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program

Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Pike Road AL.



 

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