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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Albertville Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost 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 only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Albertville Alabama.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Albertville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships. Also, it's important that you choose a school that offers clinical training in the type of facility you are most interested in. For example, if you want training and experience in pediatric care, make sure that the school you choose provides adequate clinical rotation in an area Pediatric Hospital.
- 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 approved school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Albertville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- NCLEX Exam Pass Rate. Once you receive your certificate or diploma, you must sign up for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Enrolling in a school with at least a 75% pass rate is highly preferred. Lower pass rates may indicate that a school’s program, curriculum or instructors are ineffective in teaching its students. You can find out from the school what their passing rate is for the last 5 years, or request the information from the State Board of Nursing.