How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Program Near Center Point Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Center Point AL that will provide the right training. If you reside 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning 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 important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Center Point AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Center Point AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Center Point AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Center Point AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, 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 lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Center Point Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Center Point 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 most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Center Point AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a certain 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 an excellent education, but also preps 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Center Point AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain 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.
Pick the Right Center Point Licensed Practical Nurse School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Center Point Alabama.