How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Oxford Alabama
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Oxford AL that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article.
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What 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Oxford Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Oxford Alabama.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Oxford 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 ideal way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Oxford 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Oxford AL healthcare 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 Oxford Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose 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 an LPN in Oxford Alabama.