How to Choose an LPN Program in Brewton Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Brewton AL that will provide the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from 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. However their duties 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 potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other 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 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 many duties that they complete in the Brewton AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being controlled by each state, the Brewton AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Brewton AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Brewton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some 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 Brewton AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Training
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Brewton AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out 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 school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Brewton AL as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 as well as the Brewton AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Brewton AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Brewton 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Brewton AL area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Brewton AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Brewton 36426
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Brewton AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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