How to Choose an LPN College in Ozark Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Ozark AL that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, 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 discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Ozark AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be accountable for monitoring 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, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Ozark AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Ozark AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ozark AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ozark AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some Ozark AL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 discussed, the site of the school relative to Ozark AL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Ozark AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Ozark AL school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Ozark 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Ozark AL area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Ozark AL area.
Choose the Right LPN Program Ozark 36360
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Ozark AL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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