How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Training Near Hoover Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Hoover AL that will provide the necessary 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
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 Hoover 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.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesA 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 growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive 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 numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Hoover Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Hoover Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Hoover 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 setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hoover 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 prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 gain 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 Hoover Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hoover Alabama.