Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Select the Best One Near Hoover Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Hoover AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job duties. Although, as we will cover in this report, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant considerations, 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Training Programs
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Hoover AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Hoover AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Hoover AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Hoover AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies 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. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hoover 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 looking at 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 unhappy 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 Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hoover AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Hoover LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN school 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Hoover Alabama.