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Questions 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 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 Badger Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Badger Alaska.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services 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, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Badger AK 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 effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Badger AK 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 criteria for LPNs differ 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 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Badger AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- 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.