How to Pick the Best LVN or LPN Course Near Millbrook Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Millbrook AL that will furnish 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 difference, apart from 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 responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 discuss 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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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they carry out in the Millbrook AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Millbrook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Millbrook AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LVN and LPN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Millbrook AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Millbrook Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Millbrook Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Millbrook 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 best way to get 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 requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Millbrook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 requirements for LPNs vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Millbrook AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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 Millbrook Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Millbrook Alabama.