How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Classes near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Opelika AL that will deliver the right 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Opelika AL health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Opelika AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Opelika AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively 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 schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Opelika AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 job and household 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.
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 internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Opelika AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Opelika AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Opelika 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 Opelika AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Opelika AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
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Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Free Info on Fast Track LPN or LVN Degrees and wanting to get more information on the topic Affordable Local LPN or LVN Training. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Opelika AL.
More Alabama Nursing Locations
Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Opelika was 26,401, and in 2018 the estimated population was 30,555. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, comprises the Greater Columbus combined statistical area, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836–37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".
In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.