How to Pick the Right LVN or LPN Training Near Albertville Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Albertville AL that will furnish the necessary education. If you reside 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important factors, 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Albertville AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for managing 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, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Albertville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Albertville AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Online Courses
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Albertville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Albertville Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Albertville Alabama.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Albertville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships. Also, it's important that you choose a school that offers clinical training in the type of facility you are most interested in. For example, if you want training and experience in pediatric care, make sure that the school you choose provides adequate clinical rotation in an area Pediatric Hospital.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Many 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Albertville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- NCLEX Exam Pass Rate. Once you receive your certificate or diploma, you must sign up for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Enrolling in a school with at least a 75% pass rate is highly preferred. Lower pass rates may indicate that a school’s program, curriculum or instructors are ineffective in teaching its students. You can find out from the school what their passing rate is for the last 5 years, or request the information from the State Board of Nursing.
Pick the Right Albertville Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Albertville Alabama.