How to Select an LPN School near Decatur Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Decatur AL that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for LPN schools, many prospective 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 concerns, for example 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 an LPN program 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 in Decatur AL?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Decatur AL medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Decatur AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Alabama
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Decatur AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier 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 use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Decatur AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Decatur 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Decatur 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Decatur AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Decatur AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Decatur Alabama?
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, cargo transit, and hi-tech industries such as General Electric, and the United Launch Alliance.
Initially the area was known as "Rhodes Ferry Landing", named for Dr. Henry W. Rhodes, an early landowner who operated a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River in the 1810s at the present-day location of Rhodes Ferry Park. The city was incorporated as Decatur in 1821. It was named in honor of Stephen Decatur; after he was killed in a duel in 1820, President Monroe directed that the Alabama town be named for him.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Decatur AL
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Decatur AL.
More Cities of Interest in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 52