How to Pick the Right LPN Course near Athens Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Athens AL that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Athens AL health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining 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 Athens AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Athens AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Athens AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Athens AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Athens AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Athens 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Athens AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Athens AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
LPN Colleges Online Athens Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Colleges Online and wanting to get more information on the topic LVN Online Classes. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 an LPN in Athens AL.
More Nursing Locations in Alabama
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the state, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first governor of Alabama, and its second governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
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