How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Training Program Near Homewood Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Homewood AL that will furnish the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Homewood Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Homewood Alabama.
- Reputation. Check online rating services 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Homewood 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Homewood AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 criteria for LPNs are different 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 approved school. Some 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Homewood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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.
Pick the Best Homewood Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Homewood Alabama.