Alabama, AL - LPN Nursing Program Information
How to Become an LPN in Alabama
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alabama requires graduation from of a state approved LPN program, which typically takes about a year of full time study. Before application to an LPN program, a number of prerequisites, ranging from scientific topics like microbiology to liberal arts like English and psychology must be completed—usually around ten courses for a total of 30 credit hours. Entry to all LPN schools is based on achieving sufficient grades in prerequisite courses—this can be as low as a C average or a 2.5 GPA but meeting minimum requirements will not always guarantee acceptance. Because there is high demand for nurse training in Alabama, most schools weight grades heavily when deciding who is granted acceptance.
A typical Licensed Practical Nurse program in Alabama requires around one year of study and the completion of 60 credit hours of course work, after which students must take and pass the National Counsel Licensing Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). The Alabama Board of Nursing charges an $85 fee for application alongside a $200 examination fee charged by national exam administrators Pearson Vue. The good news is that once successfully passed, the exam is recognized throughout the US due to standardization. However, one must note that any criminal record must be reported prior to application for examination, and acceptance to sit the exam is examined on a case to case basis. It is best to contact school administrators before beginning a program to see if your criminal history may present a problem.
After passing the NCLEX-PN in Alabama, one can work as a Licensed Practical Nurse. LPN licenses must be renewed every two years, which carries a $75 fee—if you let it lapse, this fee jumps to $120. In addition, LPNs must complete 24 contact hours of continuing education biannually from a state approved provider to qualify for license renewal.
LPN Job and Salary Information in Alabama
The majority of Alabama LPNs are employed by hospitals, but they also work in a variety of smaller settings like physician’s offices, private homes, and nursing homes. A normal salary for LPNs in Alabama is $38,000 once they gain sufficient experience, although entry level LPNs are likely to make around $35,000 per year for the first year or two. But additional benefits, like health care and 401k, can be worth more than $15,000 a year as well. As reported by the US Department of Labor, the job outlook is good for LPN’s, with higher than average growth expected, particularly in nursing homes and home care facilities. (salary information provided by salary.com)
Licensed Practical Nurses in Alabama are responsible for many tasks that are all very important in monitoring, assessing, and maintaining patient health. They are supervised by doctors and Registered Nurses in patient care and are responsible for essential bedside care such as monitoring vital signs, giving injections and administering other prescribed medicines, dressing wounds and so on, and feeding, bathing, collecting samples and maintaining medical equipment.
A 40 hour work week is the norm for Licensed Practical Nurses, but, because many patients need around the clock attention, many LPNs work nights, weekends and holidays. While not ideal for everyone, this can be beneficial for those needing flexible schedules due to other commitments such as family, school and so on—especially considering the competitive salaries earned by LPNs. Secondly, this means that LPNs with other responsibilities like family and school can find flexible employment that suits their personal needs.