How to Pick an LPN College in Montevallo Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Montevallo AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities 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 prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very 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 talk about 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 Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they perform in the Montevallo AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Montevallo AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Montevallo AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 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 offered in the Montevallo 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 position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Montevallo AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Montevallo AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Montevallo AL along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 Montevallo AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing 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, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Montevallo AL school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Montevallo 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 colleges you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Montevallo AL area to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Montevallo AL area.
Choose the Right LPN College Montevallo 35115
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Montevallo AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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