How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Albertville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Albertville AL that will deliver the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties 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 potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Albertville AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the Albertville AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Albertville AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 Albertville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 want to progress 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some 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 Albertville AL area. The duration 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Albertville AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Albertville AL as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Albertville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing 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, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Albertville AL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Albertville 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Albertville AL area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many 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 placing of students in internships in the Albertville AL area.
Choose the Right LPN College Albertville 35950
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Albertville AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". 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 attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in Alabama That You Might Be Interested In