How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Roanoke Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Roanoke AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart 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. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Roanoke AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually 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. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Roanoke AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Roanoke AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the core curriculum 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 Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Roanoke AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Roanoke AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely 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 before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Roanoke AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Roanoke 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Roanoke AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost 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. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Roanoke AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Roanoke Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Roanoke AL.