Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Hartselle Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Hartselle AL that will help you enter the rewarding profession 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 LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. Most new students begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover 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
LPN and LVN Training Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Hartselle AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively 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 growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Hartselle AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hartselle AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Hartselle AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Hartselle 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hartselle AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Hartselle AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Hartselle LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Hartselle Alabama.