How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Training Program Near Anniston Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Anniston AL that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning 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 price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Anniston AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Anniston AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Anniston AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 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 attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Classes
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Anniston AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Anniston Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Anniston Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 Anniston AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anniston 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 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Anniston AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- 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.
Choose the Right Anniston Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Anniston Alabama.