How to Select the Right LPN or LVN College near Princeton Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Princeton AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example 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 course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Princeton AL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Princeton AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Princeton AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Princeton AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions 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 use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Princeton AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Princeton AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. 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 excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Princeton 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Princeton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Princeton AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Princeton Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when choosing 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 essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Princeton AL.