Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Albertville Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Albertville AL that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both work in health care facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. Most nursing candidates start looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are other credentials that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Training Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Albertville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Albertville AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Albertville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to 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 Albertville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs 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 accredited 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Albertville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Albertville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Albertville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Albertville LPN or LVN School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Albertville Alabama.