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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Goodyear Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Goodyear Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Goodyear AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Goodyear AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona 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 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 favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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.