How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN School near Tuscumbia Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Tuscumbia AL that will furnish the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, 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 tasks that they accomplish in the Tuscumbia AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Tuscumbia AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Tuscumbia AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 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 Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Tuscumbia AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding 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 affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Tuscumbia AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Tuscumbia 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Tuscumbia 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Tuscumbia AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Tuscumbia AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Tuscumbia Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Tuscumbia AL.