How to Select an LPN Program in Sumiton Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Sumiton AL that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant considerations, 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 also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Sumiton AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every 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 functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Sumiton AL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed 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 usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Sumiton 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sumiton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sumiton AL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the education 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Sumiton AL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Sumiton AL along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the Sumiton AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sumiton AL school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sumiton 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Sumiton AL area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Sumiton AL area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Sumiton 35148
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Sumiton AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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