How to Choose an LPN Program in New Market Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in New Market AL that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from 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 duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the job 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 duties that they accomplish in the New Market AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the New Market AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive 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 provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in New Market 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the New Market AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New Market AL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training course 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 Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some New Market AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments 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 hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to New Market AL along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the New Market AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 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 essential that the New Market AL school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby New Market 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 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the New Market AL area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the New Market AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training New Market 35761
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in New Market AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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