How to Enroll In the Right LVN or LPN Course Near Mountain Brook Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Mountain Brook 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 difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Mountain Brook AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Mountain Brook AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Mountain Brook AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the course of study 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 Courses Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Mountain Brook AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Mountain Brook Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Mountain Brook Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Mountain Brook AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Mountain Brook AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Mountain Brook AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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.
Pick the Best Mountain Brook Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Mountain Brook Alabama.