Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Pick the Right One Near Dothan Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Dothan AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Dothan AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice 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, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier 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, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Dothan AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Dothan 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Dothan 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Dothan AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Dothan LPN or LVN Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final 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 Dothan Alabama.