How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Prichard Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Prichard AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. 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 healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Prichard AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, 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 generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Prichard AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Prichard AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Prichard AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to 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 easily affordable. 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, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Prichard AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Prichard AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Prichard AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prichard AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Prichard AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prichard Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Prichard AL.