How to Pick the Best LVN or LPN Classes Near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Phenix City 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 distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program 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.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Phenix City AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Phenix City AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Phenix City AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Phenix City Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Phenix City Alabama.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Phenix City 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 most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Phenix City 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 Phenix City Licensed Practical Nurse School
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Phenix City Alabama.