How to Pick the Right LVN or LPN College Near Troy Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Troy AL that will furnish the right 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform a number of basic nursing tasks. They work under doctors and registered nurses (RNs) in Troy AL medical offices, hospitals, and health care facilities. They also might provide in-home care. LPNs carry out nursing tasks that are more complex than those that completed by nurse's aides but less complex than the duties of an RN. LPNs monitor the health of patients and look for signs that their health is deteriorating or improving. They check vital signs and watch for changes in monitor readings. Licensed Practical Nurses perform basic nursing functions like changing bandages and wound dressings. They comfort patients and make sure basic needs such as food and fluid intake are in order. Licensed practical nurses may also administer medications in some settings depending on institutional and state standards. LPNs work in a variety of health care environments as part of a team that includes doctors, registered nurses, and others. They serve in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health clinics, and private physician practices. Some also provide health care services at peoples’ homes. Nurses have to be able to stand on their feet for most of the day. They may need to help lift or move patients as well.
LPN TrainingSelecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Classes Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Troy AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once 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 begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Troy Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably 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 choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Troy Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 nearby Troy 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 best way to get 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 mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Troy 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Some states require a certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Troy AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 Troy Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Troy Alabama.