How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Sheffield Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Sheffield AL that will furnish the proper education. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning 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 qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Sheffield AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Sheffield AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Sheffield AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly 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
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Sheffield AL. Certain 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 rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Sheffield AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Sheffield AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Sheffield 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Sheffield AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Sheffield AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Sheffield Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN college 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Sheffield AL.