How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training near Sylacauga Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Sylacauga AL that will deliver the proper training. 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 perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, 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 many different functions that they carry out in the Sylacauga AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Sylacauga 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 Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Sylacauga AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Sylacauga AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Sylacauga AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Sylacauga AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent 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 services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 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 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 confirm 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 obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Sylacauga AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Sylacauga Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Sylacauga AL.