How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Training Program Near Selma Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Selma AL that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important considerations, 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they complete in the Selma AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Selma AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Selma Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease 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 and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial 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 decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Selma Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement 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) together with graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specific 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 an exceptional education, but also readies 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Selma AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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 Best Selma Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 Selma Alabama.