How to Pick an LPN School in Chelsea Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Chelsea AL that will provide the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Chelsea AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the Chelsea AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Chelsea 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 available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chelsea AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Chelsea AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many Chelsea AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Chelsea AL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Chelsea AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Chelsea AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Chelsea 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Chelsea 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 environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Chelsea AL area.
Choose the Right LPN Training Chelsea 35043
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Chelsea AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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