How to Pick an LPN College in Oneonta Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Oneonta AL that will deliver the necessary 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision 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 additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Oneonta AL health 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 generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the Oneonta AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Oneonta AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Oneonta AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 might wish 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 usually a two 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Oneonta AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Oneonta AL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Oneonta AL and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Oneonta AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Oneonta AL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Oneonta AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Oneonta AL area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Oneonta AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Oneonta 35121
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Oneonta AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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