How to Find the Right LPN Program in Elba Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Elba AL that will deliver the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they accomplish in the Elba AL healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Elba AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. 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 type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Elba 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 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Elba AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Elba AL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Elba AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning 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 may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Elba AL as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 along with the Elba AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Elba AL school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Elba 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Elba AL area to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Elba AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Elba 36323
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Elba AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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