How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Spanish Fort Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Spanish Fort AL that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important points to consider, 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 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 to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they carry out in the Spanish Fort AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Spanish Fort AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Spanish Fort AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Spanish Fort AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Spanish Fort AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Spanish Fort AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Spanish Fort 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Spanish Fort AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Spanish Fort AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Spanish Fort Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Spanish Fort AL.