How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Program near Sylacauga Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Sylacauga AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. 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. Even though price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 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 talk about later in this article. But first, 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 different tasks that they perform in the Sylacauga AL health care 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 managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Sylacauga AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Sylacauga AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Sylacauga AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations 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 busy 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 internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Sylacauga AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Sylacauga 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Sylacauga 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sylacauga AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Sylacauga AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Sylacauga Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Sylacauga AL.