How to Choose the Right LPN School near Ashville Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Ashville AL that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant factors, 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 extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Ashville AL health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment 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 job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Ashville AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Ashville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Ashville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Ashville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Ashville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Ashville 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Ashville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Ashville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
LVN Course Online Ashville Alabama
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LVN Course Online and wanting to get more information on the topic Licensed Practical Nurse Education Requirements. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Ashville AL.
More Nursing Locations in Alabama
Ashville is a city in St. Clair County, Alabama, United States. Its population was 2,212 at the 2010 census, down from 2,260, at which time it was a town. Ashville is the county seat of St. Clair County along with Pell City. It incorporated in 1822.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Ashville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,260 people, 814 households, and 608 families residing in the town. The population density was 116.9 people per square mile (45.1/km2). There were 905 housing units at an average density of 46.8 per square mile (18.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.42% White, 26.55% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.