How to Pick an LPN Program in Thomasville Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Thomasville AL that will provide the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from 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. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential 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 considerations, 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover 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 different tasks that they accomplish in the Thomasville AL healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated 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 oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the Thomasville AL health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered in Alabama that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally 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. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Thomasville AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Thomasville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 desire 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thomasville AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Thomasville AL area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Thomasville AL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the Thomasville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Thomasville AL school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Thomasville 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Thomasville AL area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alabama require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Thomasville AL area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program Thomasville 36784
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Thomasville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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