How to Pick the Right LPN Program near Tuscaloosa Alabama
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Tuscaloosa AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Tuscaloosa AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Tuscaloosa AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Tuscaloosa AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Tuscaloosa AL work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Tuscaloosa AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Tuscaloosa AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet 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 as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Tuscaloosa 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Tuscaloosa 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Tuscaloosa AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Tuscaloosa AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Tuscaloosa AL, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUS-kə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017. The city was originally known as Tuskaloosa until the early 20th century.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city, making it a college town.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Tuscaloosa AL
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online Schools for LPN. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Tuscaloosa AL.
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