How to Enroll In an LPN School in Glenwood Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Glenwood AL that will provide the appropriate training. 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 perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Glenwood AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Glenwood AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Glenwood AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Glenwood AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Glenwood AL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many Glenwood AL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Glenwood AL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Glenwood AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Glenwood AL school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Glenwood 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 programs 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 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Glenwood AL area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Glenwood AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN College Glenwood 36034
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Glenwood AL.
Why Did You Desire 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 interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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