How to Find the Right LPN Program in Marion Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Marion AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Marion AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Marion AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Marion AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Marion AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Marion AL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Marion AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Marion AL as well as the price of tuition are probably 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 see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Marion AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Marion AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Marion 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Marion AL area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Marion AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Marion 36756
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Marion AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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