How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Montgomery Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Montgomery AL that will furnish the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate 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 costly. Although price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address 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 education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Montgomery AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Montgomery AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Montgomery AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Montgomery AL. Some 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 facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Montgomery Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Montgomery Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Montgomery 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 most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Montgomery 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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.
Pick the Best Montgomery Licensed Practical Nurse School
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Montgomery Alabama.