How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training Program Near Trussville Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Trussville AL that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 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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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides. Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:
- Monitoring patients
- Taking patient vital signs and histories
- Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
- Changing bandages
- Inserting IVs or catheters
- Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
- Ensuring patients are comfortable
- Helping patients bathe or dress
LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including Trussville AL hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.
LPN ProgramsSelecting 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.
Taking LPN and LVN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Trussville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Trussville Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Trussville Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Trussville 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Trussville 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 requirements 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, 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 preps you to meet 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Trussville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain 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.
Pick the Best Trussville Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Trussville Alabama.