How to Pick an LPN School in Eight Mile Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Eight Mile AL that will provide the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Eight Mile AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. 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 work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Eight Mile AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Eight Mile AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Eight Mile AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Eight Mile AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Eight Mile AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Eight Mile AL along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Eight Mile AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited 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 Eight Mile AL 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 practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Eight Mile AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Eight Mile AL area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Eight Mile AL area.
Select the Right LPN Program Eight Mile 36613
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Eight Mile AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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