Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Madison Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Madison AL that will furnish the necessary instruction. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job activities can vary depending on the state where they are employed. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. But there are other qualifications that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Madison AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 should 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 course of study adequately 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Madison AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Madison AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Madison AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Madison AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Madison AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Madison AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Madison LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important 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 using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Madison Alabama.