Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Choose the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Huntsville AL that will furnish the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job activities can vary based on the state where they are practicing. Most new students start looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are additional qualifications that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Huntsville AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Huntsville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Huntsville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Huntsville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Huntsville 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Huntsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Huntsville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Huntsville LPN or LVN Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Huntsville Alabama.