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Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Alexander City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Alexander City AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Alexander City AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Alexander City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Alexander City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.