How to Find the Best LPN or LVN Course near Smiths Station Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Smiths Station AL that will provide the right 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Smiths Station AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Smiths Station AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Smiths Station AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Smiths Station AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Smiths Station AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely 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 before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Smiths Station 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Smiths Station 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 schools 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 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 Smiths Station AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Smiths Station AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Smiths Station Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 an LPN or LVN in Smiths Station AL.