How to Pick an LPN School near Selma Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Selma AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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 functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Selma AL?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Selma AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Selma AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Alabama
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Selma 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Selma 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Selma Alabama?
Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census.
The city is best known for the 1960s Selma Voting Rights Movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches, beginning with "Bloody Sunday" in March 1965 and ending with 25,000 people entering Montgomery at the end of the last march to press for voting rights. This activism generated national attention to social justice and that summer, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed by Congress to authorize federal oversight and enforcement of constitutional rights of all citizens.
It had been a trading center and market town during the years of King Cotton in the South. It was also an important armaments manufacturing and iron shipbuilding center during the Civil War, surrounded by miles of earthen fortifications. The Confederate forces were defeated during the Battle of Selma.
Before discovery and settlement, the area of present-day Selma had been inhabited for thousands of years by various warring tribes of Indians. The Europeans encountered the historic Native American people known as the Muscogee (also known as the Creek), who had been in the area for hundreds of years.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program near Selma AL
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Selma AL.
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