How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Training Near Talladega Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Talladega AL that will furnish the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Talladega AL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Talladega AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Talladega AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively 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
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Talladega AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Talladega Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Talladega Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Talladega 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 effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Talladega AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Many states require a specified 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are considering 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Talladega AL medical 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.
Choose the Right Talladega Licensed Practical Nurse School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Talladega Alabama.