How to Pick an LPN School in Prattville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Prattville AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you live 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more 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 first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Prattville AL health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the Prattville AL medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available in Alabama that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 Prattville 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Prattville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many 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 Prattville AL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum period of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain 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 contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Prattville AL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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 job and family commitments have left you with very little 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 Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Prattville AL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Prattville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Prattville AL school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Prattville 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Prattville AL area to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Prattville AL area.
Select the Right LPN Training Prattville 36066
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Prattville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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