How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Classes near Russellville Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Russellville AL that will deliver the right 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria 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 training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, 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 numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Russellville AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care 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 everyday job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Russellville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Russellville AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 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 attests 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.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Russellville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Russellville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Russellville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 Russellville 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 unhappy 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 Russellville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Russellville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Russellville Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Russellville AL.