How to Select an LPN Program in Eclectic Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Eclectic AL that will provide the appropriate instruction. 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 medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 extremely important as well. 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 first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Eclectic AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Eclectic AL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. 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. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Eclectic AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eclectic AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Eclectic AL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many Eclectic AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 pointed out, the site of the school relative to Eclectic AL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 Eclectic AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Eclectic AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Eclectic 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 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 displeased 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 Eclectic AL area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Eclectic AL area.
Pick the Right LPN College Eclectic 36024
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Eclectic AL.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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