How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training near Rainbow City Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Rainbow City AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Rainbow City AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Rainbow City AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Rainbow City AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the course of study 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 Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Rainbow City AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Rainbow 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Rainbow City AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Rainbow City 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rainbow City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Rainbow City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Rainbow City Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Rainbow City AL.