How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Course Near Selma Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Selma AL that will deliver the necessary 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant factors, 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 very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Selma AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Selma AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Courses Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Selma Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Selma Alabama.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. 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 contact some nearby Selma 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Selma 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 criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies 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 programs you are considering 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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.
Pick the Right Selma Licensed Practical Nurse School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select 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 create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Selma Alabama.