How to Find the Right LPN or LVN School Near Troy Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Troy AL that will deliver 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Troy AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Troy AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Troy AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Troy AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Troy Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Troy Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local 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 criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Troy AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- 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 Troy Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Troy Alabama.