How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Training Program Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Birmingham AL that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. Let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Birmingham AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally 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. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Birmingham AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Birmingham AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Birmingham AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed 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 school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.