How to Select an LPN College in Montrose Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Montrose AL that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside 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 perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria 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 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Montrose AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated 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 assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Montrose AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Montrose AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Montrose 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch 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 Montrose AL area. The length of the training program 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Montrose AL area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Montrose AL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Montrose AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Montrose AL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Montrose 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 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 important 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 Montrose AL area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Montrose AL area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Montrose 36559
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, 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 both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Montrose AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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