How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN College Near Montgomery Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Montgomery AL that will furnish the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
Questions 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 utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Montgomery Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Montgomery Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit 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, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Montgomery 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 ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Montgomery 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 criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specific 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 an exceptional education, but also preps 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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 Best Montgomery Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Montgomery Alabama.