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How to Pick the Right LVN or LPN School Near East Florence Alabama

East Florence Alabama licensed practical nurse reviewing patient chart with physicianNow that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near East Florence AL that will furnish the necessary 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care 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 look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important factors, 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 as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.

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LPN and LVN Job Description

East Florence Alabama LPN checking on female senior in assisted living facility

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides.  Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:

  • Monitoring patients
  • Taking patient vital signs and histories
  • Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
  • Changing bandages
  • Inserting IVs or catheters
  • Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
  • Ensuring patients are comfortable
  • Helping patients bathe or dress

LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including East Florence AL hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.

LPN and LVN Courses

Selecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN. 

Attending LPN and LVN Courses Online

East Florence Alabama licensed practical nurse greeting patient with crutches at doorAttending LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in East Florence AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations 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.

What 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 use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near East Florence Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near East Florence Alabama.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local East Florence 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby East Florence AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain 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.

More Info on How to Become an LVN or LPN in East Florence

Choose the Best East Florence Licensed Vocational Nurse Training

Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in East Florence Alabama.



 

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