How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Classes Near Enterprise Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Enterprise AL that will furnish 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, 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. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, 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 too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
A licensed practical nurse cares for the basic medical needs of a patient by monitoring their blood pressure and other vital signs and providing the person with the necessities of basic comforts like bathing or other needs. LPNs work in a variety of health care systems. Settings can range from Enterprise AL clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, clinics, and even private practices. Depending on each state’s regulations, LPNs may be involved in medical care such as inserting catheters, intravenous drips (IVs), assisting to deliver babies, or giving approved medication. They would be responsible for keeping accurate records of a patient such as their history, diagnosis, progress, and any new medical problem that may occur and inform the doctor or registered nurse. He or she is overseen by a doctor or registered nurse. Many facilities require work hours to exceed the normal 8-hour shifts. Therefore, according to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, it’s necessary to have physical strength and stamina due to the direct care to patients you will provide. An LPN should be compassionate, patient in difficult situations, and have interpersonal skills. They should have the ability to communicate clearly and be an attentive listener.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesAfter deciding on the type of program to pursue, students need to find one approved by their state. Each state establishes its own educational requirements for LPNs and approves the schools offering credentials. Most yearlong programs are offered by junior colleges, hospitals, community colleges or technical schools, and provide the opportunity for supervised practical nursing clinical experience. In some cases applicants can get a head start by completing prerequisites in mathematics, chemistry, biology, English and psychology prior to enrolling; however, these are not always required so students should check their program’s requirements first. Admission varies by state, although applicants need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in a nursing certificate or diploma program. Additionally, some schools may require applicants to pass an entrance exam prior to acceptance to an LPN certificate program. Upon completion of an approved LPN/LVN diploma or certificate program, graduates sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). All states and the District of Columbia mandate the NCLEX-PN competency exam as a core requirement to be employed as an LPN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Classes Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Enterprise AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Enterprise Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site 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 emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Enterprise Alabama.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. 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 call some local Enterprise 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Enterprise AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning 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 criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specified 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Enterprise AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 Best Enterprise Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Enterprise Alabama.