How to Choose an LPN Training in Phenix City Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Phenix City AL that will furnish the necessary 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, except for 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. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, 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 a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Phenix City AL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Phenix City AL health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 type of credential you seek, it needs to 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Phenix City AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Phenix City AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including 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) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Phenix City AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Phenix City AL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Phenix City AL along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Phenix City AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Phenix City AL school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Phenix City 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Phenix City AL area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Phenix City AL area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Phenix City 36867
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Phenix City AL.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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