How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Scottsboro Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Scottsboro AL that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. 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 to start with, let's have 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 many duties that they complete in the Scottsboro AL healthcare 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 overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Scottsboro AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Scottsboro AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Scottsboro AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue 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, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Scottsboro AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Scottsboro AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Scottsboro 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Scottsboro AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Scottsboro AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Scottsboro Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Scottsboro AL.