How to Find the Best LVN or LPN Training Near Madison Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Madison AL that will furnish the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, 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. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance 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 course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
The most basic definition for what LPNs do is that they provide routine care for the sick or injured. They work in conjunction with RNs to adhere to a care plan for each patient. RNs typically have a wider scope of practice than LPNs, such as interacting with doctors and administering medication through IVs. While an LPN’s scope of practice may be smaller than that of a registered nurse, there are still plenty of important nursing duties on their plates. LPN duties do vary somewhat by state and employer, but in general terms they provide hands-on patient care regardless of the location or employer. LPNs are responsible for a range of patient care and administrative tasks, which can include:
- Monitoring basic patient health such as vital signs and overall condition
- Changing dressings or inserting catheters
- Taking patient histories and maintaining documentation
- Assisting with tests or procedures
- Providing personal care, such as helping with bathing and toileting
- Consulting with RNs on care plans
LPNs provide care in a variety of healthcare settings. More and more patients are seeking care in or near their homes, which has resulted in many LPN jobs moving away from the hospital environment and into more specialized settings. A few of the most common places LPNs work include Madison AL hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and even correctional facilities.
LPN and LVN ProgramsA 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.
Taking LPN and LVN Courses Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Madison AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Madison Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Madison Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Madison 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 acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Madison 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending 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 finish 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 Madison AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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 Right Madison Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Madison Alabama.