How to Enroll In an LPN College in Arab Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Arab AL that will furnish the appropriate training. If you live 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other 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 look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Arab AL healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for supervising 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 varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the Arab AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Arab AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Arab AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Arab AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the education is state approved. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many Arab AL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Arab AL along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Arab AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Arab AL school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Arab 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 schools 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 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 good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Arab AL area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Arab AL area.
Select the Right LPN Program Arab 35016
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Arab AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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