How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Selma Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Selma AL that will deliver the proper training. If you live 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's 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 a number of functions that they perform in the Selma AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as 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 controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Selma 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, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Selma AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, 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 option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 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 Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Selma AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Selma 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Selma Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Selma AL.