How to Pick an LPN School in Greensboro Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Greensboro AL that will furnish the proper training. 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant points to consider, 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 very important also. There are additional 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 have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Greensboro AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Greensboro AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic credentials offered in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Greensboro AL, and that most 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 in order 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 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 Greensboro AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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 requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Greensboro AL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that 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 check with 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Greensboro AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Greensboro AL along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Greensboro 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 help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Greensboro AL school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Greensboro 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Greensboro AL area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Greensboro AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Greensboro 36744
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Greensboro AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Cities in Alabama That You Might Be Interested In