Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Huntsville AL that will help you enter the rewarding field of nursing. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job duties. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a decision 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Training Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Huntsville AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 seek, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Huntsville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Huntsville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Huntsville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary 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 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Huntsville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Huntsville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Huntsville LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical 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 develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Huntsville Alabama.