How to Select the Right LPN Course near Cullman Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Cullman AL that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Cullman AL health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance 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 requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Cullman AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Cullman AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Cullman AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Cullman AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Cullman AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Cullman 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cullman AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Cullman AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Licensed Practical Nurse Education Cullman Alabama
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Licensed Practical Nurse Education and wanting to get more information on the topic Become An LPN Online. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Cullman AL.
More Nursing Locations in Alabama
Cullman is a city in and the county seat of Cullman County, Alabama, United States. It is located along Interstate 65, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Birmingham and about 55 miles (89 km) south of Huntsville. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 14,775, with an estimated population of 15,858 in 2018.
Before European settlement, the area that today includes Cullman was originally in the territory of the Cherokee Nation. The region was traversed by a trail known as the Black Warrior's Path, which led from the Tennessee River near the present location of Florence, Alabama, to a point on the Black Warrior River south of Cullman. This trail figured significantly in Cherokee history, and it featured prominently in the American Indian Wars prior to the establishment of the state of Alabama and the relocation of several American Indian tribes, including the Creek people westward along the Trail of Tears. During the Creek War in 1813, General Andrew Jackson of the U.S. Army dispatched a contingent of troops down the trail, one of which included the frontiersman Davy Crockett.
In the 1820s and the 1830s, two toll roads were built linking the Tennessee Valley to present-day Birmingham. In 1822, Abraham Stout was given a charter by the Alabama Legislature to open and turnpike a road beginning from Gandy's Cove in Morgan County to the ghost town of Baltimore on the Mulberry Fork near Colony. The road passed near present-day Vinemont through Cullman, Good Hope, and down the current Interstate 65 corridor to the Mulberry Fork. The road was later extended to Elyton (Birmingham) in 1827. It then became known as Stout's Road. Mace Thomas Payne Brindley was given a charter in 1833 to turnpike two roads, one running between Blount Springs to Somerville by way of his homestead in present-day Simcoe, and the second road passing west of Hanceville and east of Downtown Cullman to join Stout's Road north of the city. What later became the Brindley Turnpike became an extension of Stout's Road to Decatur. Cullman later became located between the juncture of the two roads, and they predated the corridor of U.S. Route 31.