Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Best One Near East Florence Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near East Florence AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying profession of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care 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 address in the following segment. Most nursing candidates begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. 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 program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near East Florence AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in East Florence AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near East Florence AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near East Florence AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 East Florence 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local East Florence AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right East Florence LPN or LVN School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in East Florence Alabama.