How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Program Near Prattville Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Prattville AL that will deliver the appropriate 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article.
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Things 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 use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Prattville Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Prattville Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Prattville 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Prattville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing 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 requirements 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. Many 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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.
Pick the Right Prattville Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Prattville Alabama.