Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near Anniston Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Anniston AL that will furnish the proper training. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job duties. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. Most new students begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LVN and LPN Training Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Anniston AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Anniston AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use 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 Anniston AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Anniston AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Anniston 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Anniston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anniston AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Anniston LPN or LVN School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Anniston Alabama.