How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Training Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Tuscaloosa AL that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Tuscaloosa Al as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Tuscaloosa Alabama.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Tuscaloosa 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 acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Tuscaloosa AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares 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 looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Tuscaloosa 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.
Pick the Right Tuscaloosa Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Tuscaloosa Alabama.