Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Homewood Alabama
Now that you have chosen 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 necessary education. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. But there are other credentials 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 extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course 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 Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Homewood AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Homewood AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Homewood AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors 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 see how your selection measures up 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 verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Homewood AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Homewood AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Homewood AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Homewood LPN or LVN School
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Homewood Alabama.