Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Choose the Right One Near Montgomery Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Montgomery AL that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. Although, as we will cover in this article, their daily job activities can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Many new students start searching for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, 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 cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Montgomery AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Montgomery AL. Many 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 performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Montgomery AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Montgomery AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Montgomery 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 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Montgomery AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Montgomery LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Montgomery Alabama.