How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Training Near Selma Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Selma AL that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more 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 first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
A licensed practical nurse cares for the basic medical needs of a patient by monitoring their blood pressure and other vital signs and providing the person with the necessities of basic comforts like bathing or other needs. LPNs work in a variety of health care systems. Settings can range from Selma AL clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, clinics, and even private practices. Depending on each state’s regulations, LPNs may be involved in medical care such as inserting catheters, intravenous drips (IVs), assisting to deliver babies, or giving approved medication. They would be responsible for keeping accurate records of a patient such as their history, diagnosis, progress, and any new medical problem that may occur and inform the doctor or registered nurse. He or she is overseen by a doctor or registered nurse. Many facilities require work hours to exceed the normal 8-hour shifts. Therefore, according to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, it’s necessary to have physical strength and stamina due to the direct care to patients you will provide. An LPN should be compassionate, patient in difficult situations, and have interpersonal skills. They should have the ability to communicate clearly and be an attentive listener.
LPN and LVN TrainingAfter deciding on the type of program to pursue, students need to find one approved by their state. Each state establishes its own educational requirements for LPNs and approves the schools offering credentials. Most yearlong programs are offered by junior colleges, hospitals, community colleges or technical schools, and provide the opportunity for supervised practical nursing clinical experience. In some cases applicants can get a head start by completing prerequisites in mathematics, chemistry, biology, English and psychology prior to enrolling; however, these are not always required so students should check their program’s requirements first. Admission varies by state, although applicants need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in a nursing certificate or diploma program. Additionally, some schools may require applicants to pass an entrance exam prior to acceptance to an LPN certificate program. Upon completion of an approved LPN/LVN diploma or certificate program, graduates sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). All states and the District of Columbia mandate the NCLEX-PN competency exam as a core requirement to be employed as an LPN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Selma Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Selma Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 opinions 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations 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 are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with 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 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 Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 Selma Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Selma Alabama.