How to Pick the Right LPN College near Winfield Alabama
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Winfield AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally 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. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should 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.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they perform in the Winfield AL medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alabama. Although 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 health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Winfield AL healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Winfield AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain 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 convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 little time to work toward 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 Winfield 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 Schools
Now that 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Winfield AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Winfield AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Winfield 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Winfield AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Winfield AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Winfield AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Winfield AL, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Winfield is a small city situated in Northwest Alabama 26 miles (42 km) east of the Mississippi state line. It lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range which stretches from the deep South all the way to Maine. Long before the earliest settlers arrived, Indian tribes hunted in the forest and fished in the streams and along and around Winfield. The town was originally called "Needmore", but when it was incorporated in either 1887 or 1891, the name was changed to Winfield in honor of General Winfield Scott. This area was once the Chickasaw Indian domain. Although there were no known Indian settlements within the county, several sites were maintained as hunting camps.
Winfield is located in southern Marion County at 33°55′42″N 87°48′29″W / 33.92833°N 87.80806°W / 33.92833; -87.80806 (33.928258, -87.807990), with a portion extending south into Fayette County. U.S. Route 43 passes through the city, leading northwest 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to Guin and south 18 miles (29 km) to Fayette. Hamilton, the Marion County seat, is 20 miles (32 km) northwest via US 43.
Winfield has a subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers, mild winters, and abundant rainfall during the late winter and spring. January sees average daily high temperatures of 53.0 °F (11.7 °C) and lows of 31.8 °F (−0.1 °C). In July, the average daily high is 90.6 °F (32.6 °C), and the low is 69.2 °F (20.7 °C). Snowfall is infrequent in the area, with a yearly average of 0.5 inches (12.7 mm). The average yearly rainfall in Winfield is about 52 inches (1,300 mm), with March being the wettest month and October the driest.
Select the Right LPN School near Winfield AL
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Education for LPN. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Winfield AL.
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