How to Enroll In the Right LVN or LPN Training Program Near Northport Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Northport AL that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article.
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Questions 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 web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Northport Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Northport Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Northport AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Northport 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 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Northport AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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.
Choose the Right Northport Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Northport Alabama.