How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Wetumpka Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Wetumpka AL that will deliver the appropriate 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Wetumpka AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Wetumpka AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Wetumpka AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Wetumpka AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Wetumpka AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Wetumpka AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Wetumpka 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Wetumpka AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Wetumpka AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Wetumpka Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Wetumpka AL.