It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Mobile Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Mobile Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 Mobile 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 best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Mobile AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning 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 prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. Many states require a certain 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 readies you to meet 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 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 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 good reputation within the Mobile AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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.