How to Choose an LPN Training in Wetumpka Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Wetumpka AL that will deliver the necessary 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 too. There are additional 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Wetumpka AL health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Wetumpka AL healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally 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 time frame, commonly about 1 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Wetumpka AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wetumpka AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wetumpka AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Wetumpka AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Wetumpka AL and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the Wetumpka AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Wetumpka AL school you are attending not only provides a top-notch 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 services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Wetumpka 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Wetumpka 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Wetumpka AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Wetumpka 36092
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Wetumpka AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". 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 qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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