How to Pick the Right LPN College near Muscle Shoals Alabama
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Muscle Shoals AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 core curriculum 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 numerous functions that they carry out in the Muscle Shoals AL medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction 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. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Muscle Shoals AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Muscle Shoals AL. Many schools will require attendance 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 facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 Muscle Shoals 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.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
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 use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Muscle Shoals AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Muscle Shoals AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Muscle Shoals 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Muscle Shoals AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Muscle Shoals AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Muscle Shoals AL, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Muscle Shoals is the largest city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It is located along the Tennessee River in the northern part of the state and, as of the 2010 census, the population of Muscle Shoals was 13,146. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,706.
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music. Local studios and artists developed the "Muscle Shoals Sound", including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969. They produced hit records that shaped the national and international history of popular music.
Select the Right LPN School near Muscle Shoals AL
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Requirements for LPN Program. However, by using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Muscle Shoals AL.
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