How to Choose the Best LVN or LPN Program Near Center Point Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Center Point AL that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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 responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. 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 to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform a number of basic nursing tasks. They work under doctors and registered nurses (RNs) in Center Point AL medical offices, hospitals, and health care facilities. They also might provide in-home care. LPNs carry out nursing tasks that are more complex than those that completed by nurse's aides but less complex than the duties of an RN. LPNs monitor the health of patients and look for signs that their health is deteriorating or improving. They check vital signs and watch for changes in monitor readings. Licensed Practical Nurses perform basic nursing functions like changing bandages and wound dressings. They comfort patients and make sure basic needs such as food and fluid intake are in order. Licensed practical nurses may also administer medications in some settings depending on institutional and state standards. LPNs work in a variety of health care environments as part of a team that includes doctors, registered nurses, and others. They serve in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health clinics, and private physician practices. Some also provide health care services at peoples’ homes. Nurses have to be able to stand on their feet for most of the day. They may need to help lift or move patients as well.
LVN and LPN TrainingIf you want to become a licensed practical nurse, you must first complete one year of coursework to earn a certificate or a diploma in an accredited LPN/LVN program. Most states have dozens of accredited colleges, technical schools, and hospitals that offer LPN/LVN programs. The first consideration you must make when becoming an LPN is which school you will attend. This can be a difficult choice. When choosing a school, choose one which is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. One well-known accrediting agency is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. After satisfying the LPN program coursework and grade requirements laid out by your state’s Board of Nursing, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is mandatory for all LPN/LVN's in the U.S. and can be scheduled through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Center Point AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that 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 options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Center Point Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Center Point Alabama.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Center Point AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Center Point AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Center Point AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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.
Choose the Best Center Point Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Nurse in Center Point Alabama.