How to Pick the Best LVN or LPN Course Near Enterprise Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Enterprise AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 (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 Enterprise 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 TrainingSelecting 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.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Enterprise AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household 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 active schedule.
Things 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 choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Enterprise Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Enterprise Alabama.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 best way to acquire 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Enterprise 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Enterprise AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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.
Choose the Right Enterprise Licensed Practical Nurse School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 Enterprise Alabama.