How to Find the Best LVN or LPN College Near Dixiana Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Dixiana AL that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 first, 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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LPN and LVN Job Description
The most basic definition for what LPNs do is that they provide routine care for the sick or injured. They work in conjunction with RNs to adhere to a care plan for each patient. RNs typically have a wider scope of practice than LPNs, such as interacting with doctors and administering medication through IVs. While an LPN’s scope of practice may be smaller than that of a registered nurse, there are still plenty of important nursing duties on their plates. LPN duties do vary somewhat by state and employer, but in general terms they provide hands-on patient care regardless of the location or employer. LPNs are responsible for a range of patient care and administrative tasks, which can include:
- Monitoring basic patient health such as vital signs and overall condition
- Changing dressings or inserting catheters
- Taking patient histories and maintaining documentation
- Assisting with tests or procedures
- Providing personal care, such as helping with bathing and toileting
- Consulting with RNs on care plans
LPNs provide care in a variety of healthcare settings. More and more patients are seeking care in or near their homes, which has resulted in many LPN jobs moving away from the hospital environment and into more specialized settings. A few of the most common places LPNs work include Dixiana AL hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and even correctional facilities.
LVN and LPN CoursesA licensed practical nurse is required to complete an approved educational program that normally takes 1 year in order to obtain a diploma or certificate. Programs are available in community colleges and trade schools. Every program provides supervised clinical experience. After receiving a diploma or certificate, an LPN takes the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in order to get licensed to work. The exam is five hours long. It’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited, which ensures the high quality standard of the program However, the program must be officially recognized by the State Board of Nursing or you cannot register to take the NCLEX-PN exam and will be unable to get licensed. Though all nationally accredited schools will also be approved by their state, it’s possible for a school to be approved but not accredited. LPNs can also take advanced programs available through professional associations in specialized areas. According to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, LPNs can be trained in medication treatment, specialized procedures, or critical care interventions. By the way, working as an LPN can also pave the way to becoming a registered nurse (RN). Many schools offer what’s called a ‘bridge’ program. These programs take into account your LPN schooling and work experience and make it easier to transition to become an RN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Dixiana AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Dixiana Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Dixiana Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. 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 speak with some local Dixiana 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Dixiana 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 requirements for LPNs differ 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Dixiana AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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.
Choose the Best Dixiana Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Dixiana Alabama.