Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Choose the Best One Near Athens Alabama
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Athens AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying profession of nursing. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at what is involved in the instruction 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 Athens AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Athens AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Athens AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Athens AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Athens 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Athens AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Athens AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Athens LPN or LVN School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Athens Alabama.