How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Course Near Albertville Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Albertville AL that will deliver the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Albertville Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Albertville Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Albertville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Albertville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- 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.
Pick the Right Albertville Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Albertville Alabama.