How to Enroll In the Best LVN or LPN School Near Hueytown Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Hueytown AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job 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 have numerous tasks that they complete in the Hueytown AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Hueytown AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are basically two scholastic 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 twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LPN and LVN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Hueytown AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach 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 supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hueytown Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Hueytown Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Hueytown AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Hueytown 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 Hueytown Licensed Practical Nurse School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Hueytown Alabama.