How to Choose the Best LVN or LPN College Near Center Point Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Center Point AL that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Center Point AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Center Point AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic 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 twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Center Point AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require 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 option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Center Point Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Center Point Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Center Point 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 ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Center Point 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 are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Center Point AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain 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 Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Center Point Alabama.