How to Pick an LPN School in Childersburg Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Childersburg AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside 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. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss 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 Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Childersburg AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Childersburg AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Childersburg AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Childersburg AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Childersburg AL area. The duration of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the education 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Childersburg AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments 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.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Childersburg AL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Childersburg AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Childersburg AL school you are attending not only provides an excellent 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 each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Childersburg 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Childersburg AL area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Childersburg AL area.
Select the Right LPN Course Childersburg 35044
Choosing the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Childersburg AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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