How to Choose an LPN School in Boaz Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Boaz AL that will provide the right instruction. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Boaz AL health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, 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 domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Boaz AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Boaz AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Boaz AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 typically a four 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 may wish 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Boaz AL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many Boaz AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Boaz AL and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Boaz AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Boaz AL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Boaz 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Boaz AL area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Boaz AL area.
Select the Right LPN Program Boaz 35956
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Boaz AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because 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, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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