How to Pick an LPN Program in Winfield Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Winfield AL that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the job 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 duties that they carry out in the Winfield AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, 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 care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the Winfield AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, 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 commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Winfield AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winfield AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 wish 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she 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 be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winfield AL area. The length of the training program 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many Winfield AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined 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 no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce 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 Winfield AL and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the Winfield AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with 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 Winfield AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some nearby Winfield AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Winfield AL area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost 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 associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Winfield AL area.
Choose the Right LPN Training Winfield 35594
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 Vocational Nurse in Winfield AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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