Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Homewood Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Homewood AL that will deliver the appropriate instruction. Texas or California students 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 LVN and an LPN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job functions. Although, as we will cover in this report, their daily job activities can differ based on the state where they are practicing. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. 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 address later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Homewood AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 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 Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Homewood AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Homewood AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Homewood AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional 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 companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Homewood 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Homewood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Homewood AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Homewood LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Homewood Alabama.