How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Satsuma Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Satsuma AL that will furnish the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address 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 duties that they carry out in the Satsuma AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Satsuma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Satsuma AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 properly 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 programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Satsuma AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Satsuma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Satsuma 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some nearby Satsuma AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Satsuma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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 also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Satsuma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Satsuma Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Satsuma AL.