How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Rainsville Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Rainsville AL that will provide the right instruction. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Rainsville AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Rainsville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Rainsville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 Schools
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Rainsville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Rainsville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Rainsville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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. Some 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Rainsville 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Rainsville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Rainsville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Rainsville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Rainsville AL.