How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Pike Road Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Pike Road AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out 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 address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant considerations, 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 also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective 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 have a look at the job 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 numerous functions that they perform in the Pike Road AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Pike Road AL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Pike Road AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pike Road AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch 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 education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pike Road AL area. The length of the training 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some Pike Road AL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Pike Road AL and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Pike Road AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Pike Road AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Pike Road 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Pike Road AL area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Pike Road AL area.
Select the Right LPN Program Pike Road 36064
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Pike Road AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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