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How to Choose the Right LVN or LPN Program Near Tuscaloosa Alabama

Tuscaloosa Alabama LPN reviewing patient chart with physicianOnce you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Tuscaloosa AL that will provide the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition 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 too. Let's 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

Tuscaloosa Alabama LPN visiting with female senior in assisted living facility

Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Tuscaloosa AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:

    • Measuring vital signs
    • Administering medications
    • Starting IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Keeping patient records
    • Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures

In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Tuscaloosa AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Training

There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Tuscaloosa AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Taking LPN and LVN Courses Online

Tuscaloosa Alabama licensed practical nurse greeting patient with crutches at doorAttending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Tuscaloosa AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

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