How to Pick the Right LVN or LPN Training Program Near Hoover Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Hoover AL that will furnish the right education. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example 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 program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Hoover AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health 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 encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Hoover AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Hoover AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative 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 costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hoover Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Hoover Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Hoover 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 effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 requirements for LPNs are different 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Hoover AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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.
Pick the Best Hoover Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Hoover Alabama.