How to Select the Right LVN or LPN Training Program Near Hueytown Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Hueytown AL that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart 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. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important points to consider, 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 also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover 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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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they accomplish in the Hueytown AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Hueytown AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Hueytown AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Classes Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hueytown AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier 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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Hueytown Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Hueytown Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Hueytown 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hueytown 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 requirements 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. Some 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Hueytown AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 Hueytown Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hueytown Alabama.