How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Prattville Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Prattville AL that will deliver the right 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Prattville AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Prattville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Prattville AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. 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 seek, it needs to 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Prattville AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many 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 many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Prattville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense 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 final decision, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Prattville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specific 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Prattville 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Prattville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prattville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Prattville AL.