How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Classes near Troy Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Troy AL that will provide the necessary education. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they carry out in the Troy AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Troy AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Troy AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Troy AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as 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 are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Troy AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Troy AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Troy 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 looking at 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Troy AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Troy AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Troy Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school 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 short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Troy AL.