How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Program near Talladega Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Talladega AL that will provide 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 distinction, apart from 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. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes 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 selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they perform in the Talladega AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required 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 direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Talladega AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Talladega AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Talladega AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Talladega AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Talladega AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Talladega 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Talladega AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Talladega AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Talladega Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Talladega AL.