Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near Birmingham AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. Most nursing candidates start looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, which are both extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover below.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Birmingham AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential 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 cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Birmingham AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Birmingham AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Birmingham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Birmingham AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham LPN or LVN Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Birmingham Alabama.